Nine Fernie businesses were shortlisted for the British Columbia Wedding awards this year. As anyone who has ever tied the knot in this beautiful mountain town could probably tell you, Fernie is a hotspot destination for weddings and a slew of businesses exist to fill the needs of every bride and groom coming together in not only Fernie, but the East Kootenay in general.
Fernie’s biggest showing on the shortlist was in the Wedding Venue of the Year category, with four different venues being nominated for the prestigious award. Elk View Lodge, Island Lake Lodge, Lizard Creek Lodge and the Griz Inn were all nominated.
The Hair and Make Up Specialist of the Year category also had a strong Fernie showing, with three local salons and spas making the list. Sparrow Hair, No. 3 Hair Salon & Boutique and Spa 901 all were nominated in this category.
Kyle Hamilton Photography did particularly well in this year’s awards as well. Hamilton was listed as a finalist for the Photographer of the Year category, and went on to win the category for the whole Kootenay region. Although he was not named best overall in the category, Hamilton progressed further than any other East Kootenay business in the awards.
The final local business that was celebrated and honoured through the wedding awards was Patti’s Party Tent Rentals. Patti’s was nominated in the Wedding Specialist Supplier of the Year category and was up against larger suppliers in Victoria, Vancouver and Pitt Meadows. Although a Pitt Meadows based business came away with the award in the end, Patti Cameron said she was thrilled to be considered as a finalist.
“Dumbfounded,” Cameron said, describing how she felt when she received the news. “Absolutely dumbfounded.”
Cameron started Patti’s Party Tent Rentals 16 years ago, after she and her husband renewed their vows for their 25th wedding anniversary. The year after their anniversary, Patti’s in-laws were set to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. Cameron joked, saying that people don’t like sitting out in the sun like a baked potato so they purchased three tents to start with and the business has blossomed from there.
Now, sixteen years later, Patti’s Party Tent Rentals is one of the biggest suppliers of party supplies in the area. Cameron has travelled all over B.C. and Southern Alberta to do events. Although they may have started with just a handful of tents, Cameron now supplies tents, tables, chairs, bouncy castles, and everything else you might need to throw a successful party, including table linens, decorations, place settings and so much more.
When asked why she believed her business was nominated for an award, Cameron had a simple response. The word “no” is simply not in her vocabulary.
“We always strive to do our best,” she said. “We have lots of friends telling us that we should slow down and say no more often.”
That being said, Cameron has been happy to grow her business over the years and believes that her business practices might have something to do her with nomination as well. Cameron noted that when she provides quotes for large events, she’ll often revisit the quote eight or 10 times, never charging for the additional time spent tweaking the numbers.
Cameron noted that her philosophy is to be over prepared, rather than leave event planners scrambling at the last minute to make changes.
Whether it is strong business practices, a community minded approach to events or Patti’s personality itself, the nomination stands as a sizeable accomplishment for this Fernie based business.