VENDOR SPOTLIGHT // NIAGARA FRENCH AFFAIR
What a wonderful world our Swish List spotlight vendor for today lives in -- romance + beauty, always at the forefront when chatting with Snezana of Niagara French Affair.
A short description of what you do: Think romantic meets vineyard opulence, garden fairy tale, farmhouse chic. All with a touch of porcelain and lace, lavender and peaches...good luck charms of things past. Niagara French Affair offers to rent timeless and unique fine porcelain vintage china and decor pieces. We also offer styling services, homemade desserts, suggestions for food and wine pairings and menu planning for weddings, engagement and rehearsal dinners, anniversaries, high tea parties, intimate gatherings and other special events.
How long have you been working in the wedding industry? Even though I have officially kicked off only recently, I feel like I have been in the business my whole life. I love hosting dinners around beautiful tables, cooking and decorating, but above all gathering family and friends for laughter, dancing and a few surprises along the way, creating memories that stay a lifetime.
What makes your business unique? Many businesses revolve around the same ideas - yet, it is often the unexplained and the intangible that renders a business unique. There are a lot of great collectors of 'things past,' food lovers and decorators. Women and men whose work I admire. I see life as a beautiful book, filled with stories and chapters, twists and turns. And, as an avid amateur writer and a romantic, I feel incredibly honoured to be, in a small way, part of yours. I try to hear and connect, believe in collaboration and really give it my all. My life's chapters led me to this calling slowly, like an old recipe that takes a whole day to make.
Favourite part of your business? Going freelance is not for the faint of heart and I have tremendous respect for those who venture into the unknown. This business for me is two parts love and one part work. As such, it is incredibly hard to pick one thing I cherish the most. I love the people - both clients and collaborators - with whom I cross paths and with whom I create these memories. I also live for great antique, handmade and bespoke finds and the opportunity to incorporate these for the contemporary client.
What inspires you? I find inspiration in likely and unlikely places. People, cultures, landscapes, organic elements, colours, words, authenticity. I love to be playful and juxtapose styles for a theme that captures the hosts.
Who is your mentor/hero in the industry (your own industry or the Niagara wedding industry)? I'm still new to the region and to the industry itself, but there are certainly a few vendors whose work I admire and follow. Such as Simply Beautiful Decor and Vineyard Bride. For years now, I've been tremendously enjoying the interior design magazines Veranda and Côté Sud, the styling and decor magazine Victoria bliss and wonderful Ottolenghi recipes, all of which provide endless inspiration.
On your day off...where would we find you? In a comfy spot reading or writing. Cooking and experimenting and singing aloud some classic rock beats. Jotting down ideas for the next dinner party. Digging through antique stores. Spending time with family and friends. Admiring and enjoying the beautiful outdoors of Niagara-on-the-Lake and the Escarpment. Sipping good wine.
If you weren't a wedding vendor, what would be your dream job? How about a cozy, little pastry shop? With books, art, bespoke pieces, a fireplace, dim light from the antique lamps, some artwork on the walls, sofa and a rustic carpet strewn in the center. And, of course, with patrons who come in regularly, because they love it and consider it home away from home. A dream I dream!
What great wedding trends are you seeing this year? Trends come and go. Weddings and gatherings should be fun, sprinkled with a pinch of spice and a reflection of couple's personality and vision. That's what makes them timeless.
Do you have any practical advice for couples planning a wedding? Try not to stress! Let yourself to enjoy the process as much as the special day. Prioritize - what are the 3 things that matter the most to you? For example, being surrounded by family & friends, soulful food, and happy music. Or, flowers, outdoors and photos. The things we value the most are the things that stay with us years later and the ones that we bring up when reminiscing.