Exchange of the Wows

Typically, the policy at Something Borrowed Something Blue, is to maintain the holidays for spending our time with friends and family. There is a particular kind of atmosphere that happens when vows are exchanged on the eve of a new year, though – wishes are magnified, it seems. So, when my dear friend Kim Sparkes (now Paddon) asked me to facilitate her New Year’s Eve nuptials, I made an exception to my holiday rule – hers was a wish I was happy to help come true.

Since opening her shop, Whink, in 2010, Kim Sparkes has been a force among small businesses in St. John’s. I have been a fan of her store from the moment it opened and have, likewise, been a fan of hers. You can imagine my excitement when, a little over a year ago, I received a squealing phone call from the newly-engaged Ms. Sparkes asking me to plan, decorate, and coordinate her wedding day. My mind was immediately racing with all the glittery décor potential.

As I usually do, I took this wedding on with as much gusto as the bride herself. Kim and I would text, email, and chat for hours, being sure to cover every inch of what would be the happiest (and most beautiful!) day in Kim’s life. True to her business practices, and with equal style, flare, (and sparkle!), Kim left no question unanswered – I had a clear understanding of her vision, and a firm commitment [to myself] to achieve it, perfectly.

The reception was to be held in the ballroom of the Comfort Inn, a family-owned hotel where some of Kim’s relatives had also held their wedding receptions. Wanting to further integrate her life and personality into this event, Kim had decided to use a gorgeous refurbished love seat from her window display at Whink for the seating at the sweetheart table (where she could snuggle into Rob as they shared their first meal as husband and wife). The chair, a traditionally Victorian construction with swirling carved wood and claw-foot legs, had once belonged to the Comfort Inn itself and, shortly before being discarded, had been rescued by Kim and was reupholstered in the perfect shade of deep mauve for use in the window of the new Water Street location of Whink. I was inspired to seek out a new and exciting backdrop to compliment the sweetheart table, the chair, and the mood. I stumbled across the maritime artisan shop Dragonfly Expression, who do wonderfully detailed work with paper – huge lifelike flower bursts, that were each personally constructed. I ordered boxes of them. As the event grew close, my patient staff at Something Borrowed Something Blue (under the direction of the artist herself) constructed a wall of these flowers. When we hung it, it gave me butterflies. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the whole Something Borrowed Something Blue team so excited about a single piece of decor. Watching it take shape, as each piece was placed and re-placed to perfection, even delivery men were stopping to stare.

kim & rob head table

The programs were the next project. I wanted these programs to act as a keepsake. I wanted them to be completely representative of the night. I brought these wants to the Paperie and, as usual, they delivered with magical excellence. Their design of gold lettering with gold glitter details on wonderful bone-coloured card stock was exactly what the occasion called for. On the eve of the wedding, among photo updates I was sending to Kim, the preview item I was most sure to deliver in person was a program.


The tables were set with white table cloths layered with white organza overlays detailed with floral appliqués that complimented the floral wall wonderfully. Gold charger plates and gold chairs carried through Kim’s gold theme-colour, and candles populated the table-tops with unbelievable floral centrepieces done by the masters at the Flower Studio (of whom I am in constant awe). A golden photo wall was created, in the corner of the reception room, and we outfitted it with New Years Eve-themed props. Top hats and silly glasses for happy, goofy, photo taking. A hashtag was earmarked for the event – announced on our vintage chalk board: #YouAndMeNYE. The room shone. Surveying the completed space, my staff were very proud.

kim & rob hashtag

The day of the wedding was full of excitement. Hotel staff and vendors completed last-minute preparations for the arrival of wedding guests, while the wedding party and families dressed and readied themselves for the main event. Kim glowed and Rob looked dashing. Photographed by Alex Stead, they smiled and kissed; they threw themselves completely into celebrating their love. Staying until after the strike of midnight, Alex – a great talent and joy to work with – achieved some wonderful images of the event which were complimented by the companion videography done by Devin Sooley, who applied great skill in capturing all the wonderful moments of the day.

See his beautiful video of the happy couple’s big day (which features some great glimpses into our decor) here:

With a boom of paper confetti, the new year came into that room all at once, and hugely. Kim had arranged for midnight french fries and when Ziggy’s pulled-up, it was the very obvious icing on the cake for all in attendance. Kim and Rob snuck romantically away, and the few remaining guests seemed to linger and soak in the last of the magic left from the night. And then it was over, and 2015 was already happening; the internet was aglow with the photos taken by family and friends.

kim & rob confetti

Truly, a wedding on new years eve is many beautiful things. One thing it most certainly is not: boring. Kim and Rob’s day was exceptional; so much excitement, very many memories, and running-over with love. I have marked this day among my favourites of this business. The first moments of my 2015 sparkled. ~A

kim & rob sweetheart


Vent the vendors!

Couple: Kim Sparkes (now Paddon) & Rob Paddon
Date: December 31st, 2014
Ceremony Venue: Gower United
Reception Venue: Comfort Inn at the Airport
Photographer: Alex Stead Photography
Videographer: Devin Sooley
Paper Products: The Paperie
Florals: The Flower Studio
Kim’s Dress: Kathy Evans Bridal Salon
DJ: Paul Loder Entertainment
Planning, Day of Coordination, and Decor: Something Borrowed, Something Blue
Uplighting, Chiavari & Linen Rental: Elite Productions
Paper Florals: Dragonfly Expressions
Confetti & Canons: Eastern Audio

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