We are so excited to share with you this new series where we interview our lovely Union Friends. We are always blown away by the passion and incredile talent in the Vancouver wedding industry and we wanted to share these amazing people with you all.
We really hope that you are enjoying this series as much as we are. Ready for today’s interview? Meet Erin Bishop, Corinne Colledge and Rob Hamilton. Erin and Corinne are the fabulous women of Filosophi Event Planning. Erin, not one to laze around, also runs SideOne Band with her boyfriend, Rob. We had them all over for dinner the other day along with Corinne’s lovely man, Adam, (he’s the cutie in the toque) and so enjoyed interviewing them afterwards. Not only are they all amazing people, who are so kind, so funny and down to earth; we also really admire them for their business savvy. Filosophi & SideOne have taken the wedding industry by storm in the few short years that they have been in business. They are great people who are really good at what they do and we are so glad to know them. We’re sure you will love them too after reading their interview!
Why weddings? What do you love about them?
Erin: I like the creativity of planning a wedding. I believe with weddings you really do have to be creative to bring the couple’s personality into the event and I like that side of it.
Corinne: What I love about weddings are ceremonies with heartfelt words exchanged. I love thoughtful, personal, tear-jerking vows, where you can tell the couple put time into creating the perfect moment.
Rob: For me there are only so many venues for cover bands. Weddings are particularly great because they are generally people my age. So, I get to play music that I identify with and really enjoy playing. It’s fun that way.
How did you meet and start working together?
Rob: We were playing at a wedding and Erin was coordinating the wedding.
Erin: Rob, tell them the lovely part of what you thought when you saw me.
Rob: I thought Erin was the bride. I showed up early to set up for playing during the ceremony and I saw Erin and thought she was beautiful.
Corinne: Erin and I met both working for another event planning company.
Erin: I was working there and then Corinne was hired shortly after – I really liked her right away and wanted to work with her.
Corinne: Aw, you really liked me, Erin?
What is one of your most memorable of best experience in business?
Erin: Almost running out of gas on the way to Fort St. John was pretty memorable. We drove there for the wedding of a mutual Filosophi & Side One client. It was the middle of the night and we had to make it there because the rehearsal was the next day. So, we drove straight through the night. Rob switched off driving to me and then fell asleep. We were in the middle of nowhere when the gaslight came on. I found a gas station but it was closed and there was a big sign saying that the next gas station was 200 km away. I woke Rob up and told him I was worried we would run out of gas. We really were in the middle of nowhere and it was so dark out, maybe 4 or 5am. We got to the point where we started taking note of where the farm houses were, because we were sure we would run out of gas and Rob would have to go back to a farm house.
Rob: I started doing the math. At that point I was in marathon running shape and I thought in the worse case scenario, I could probably run 12 miles to the last town and back with a jerry can.
Erin: I was so stressed.
Rob: And there was no cell reception where we were.
Erin: I also was starting to realize that Rob was going to have to leave me to get gas and I would have to stay with the car because it was full of equipment. I was getting scared thinking about it, in the pitch dark, in the country, alone, just a like how a horror movie starts. But, we just kept on going. The needle was well below empty and I thought at any second the car was going to die. We finally came over a hill and saw a gas station!
Rob: Of course with my genetic coding, the first gas station was a Chevron and I wanted to make it to the Esso so I could collect points.
Erin: I told him no way and we pulled into the Chevron!
Corinne: My memorable moment is from a new year’s eve wedding where the bride asked me to set up two confetti launchers at the last minute. I was super nervous to set them up so I kept putting it off during the set up. I decided to do it while the ceremony was taking place across the hall, so I would have a good half hour to figure it out.
The launchers were long skinny tubes and each had a plug that was meant to be plugged into the same trigger with an on and off switch. That way, when midnight struck, they would both go off together.
I asked the hotel staff for an extension cord so both plugs could reach the trigger. I happened to leave the ballroom and the hotel staff member returned at that moment and plugged one of the tubes into the trigger and flicked the switch to test that the cord worked without realizing it was all plugged in. Boom! There was confetti ALL over the ballroom even in the water glasses, right before guests were coming in.
We had to quickly collect all of the confetti and jam it back into the tube. It was all hands on deck, I think every hotel staff member helped! We managed to get it all cleared up before the guests arrived and I was able to reassemble it so that it still went off at midnight!
What is your favourite part of a wedding?
Erin: I really enjoy the wedding day itself. I like seeing all of our work come together on the day. I like sneaking the bride into the reception room to see it for the first time. A lot of the time I’ll have to convince my bride to try something different or bold décor wise, and I love seeing her reaction to what it all looks like. Seeing one sample table is so different to seeing the whole room together, and I like seeing the bride’s reaction to what we’ve created together.
Corinne: Definitely the ceremony for me. I love watching the parent’s reactions and emotions during the ceremony.
Erin: For the band, there is always one song that really affects the crowd. One I really remember was when we played David Gray’s “This Years Love” at Brittany & Michael’s wedding. It is a romantic song and a lot of people were slow dancing but there were also guys with their arms around each other’s shoulders singing away. There is always one song at every wedding that really resonates with that crowd and the vibe they create is magic.
Rob: I like doing ceremonies. One thing we do is we get our brides and grooms to pick any song they want and I can “ceremonify” it. I get my acoustic guitar and my looper pedal and put lots of reverb on it while they come down the aisle – we can make any song sound classic and beautiful that way no matter what it is. The funny thing is that the bride and groom don’t get to hear my version of their song until they come down the aisle. One time in particular I was playing at the Vancouver Club and was at the back of the room for the ceremony. The bride was about to walk down the aisle and no one could see her except for me. I started to play her song and her request was “Love is All” by The Tallest Man on Earth. I could see the bride totally melting to the song and I knew I had nailed it.
What is your best piece of advice for an engaged couple?
Corinne: Get a planner! For real. Hire a planner!
Erin: Ooo that is hard, there are so many things I want to say. My non-romantic practical advice is to beware the “friendor” – which is a friend who wants to offer you a service for free or cheap. Don’t accept help from your friends who are either professional at something or who wish they were professional at something. Just hire people for every aspect of your wedding from planning to photography to everything else. Otherwise, it can really go awry. It can ruin aspects of the wedding and even the friendship.
Rob: For me, I’ve always had the problem with the idea of a wedding. Erin once threw me a surprise birthday party. It was the sweetest thing anyone has ever done for me in my life. My Mom was dying at the time and it was a very emotional moment in my life. I will always look back on that night as one of the greatest things that anyone has ever done for me. However, I walked into the room and everyone yelled my name and started singing to me, and even though I spend a quarter of my life on stage in front of people, it is very uncomfortable for me to be the center of attention. I always thought a wedding would be tough for me in that way. Really, who cares about me and my relationship with Erin? I’ve always thought that the weddings I’ve been to are so great because it is a way for family and friends to get together. I remember at Kate’s wedding the father of the groom gave such a great speech. He said something to the affect of: “I love you guys, but this is not about you two, this is about everyone else here. This is about family and our community. This has been going on for generations and this is what it is all about.” I always think that should be the underlying theme of all weddings.
What is the one thing about you that not many people may know?
Rob: Erin and I make up songs all day, or sing SideOne songs changing the lyrics around. We either use our pets names (MinMin, George, Oojoo, and Frances), or we use our nickname for each other, beebs. Then we’ll rhyme beebs with sheebs and deebs and sing a song that is mostly gibberish. It happens all day long in our house.
Erin: It’s true.
Rob: Whenever we’ve gone 2 minutes without talking, we’ll start singing about our animals.
Erin: Normal people hum, but we sing. It is so dumb, I don’t know why we do it.
Corinne: I’m a super clean, minimalist person, but my car is disgusting. It is my black hole. I chew gum and then leave it on the dashboard. I just refuse to throw it out the window!
What is your most prized possession?
Erin: My phone for sure, obviously. (It’s name is JimJim.)
Corinne: My chapstick, definitely. I sleep with it next to my bed and it is never more than 3 feet away from me during the day.
Rob: My 1973 Gibson 335. I always told all my students if they were going to buy vintage gear to go the States, because they have tones of it. Then I ended up finding this guitar a 3 wood from my house hanging on the wall at Long & McQuade after scouring guitar stores in New York and Vegas. The guitar’s name is Virgil.
What was the best decision you ever made?
Erin: Starting a business. I quit my day job in the fall of 2010 with no weddings lined up for the next year. It was scary but it really made me make it happen.
Rob: Leaving my previous cover band and starting Side One. I think too the best business decision we made was making our video. It has had thousands of views and people hire us based on it.
Corinne: For sure mine was to join Erin. I think we make an amazing team and we totally compliment each other.
Erin: Aww! It’s true, we are the right kind of different.
If you could learn one random skill, what would it be?
Rob: Walking a cat on a leash. It is the ultimate skill. Women around the world would love it. I’d be the pied piper of women!
Corinne: To speak another language or two, fluently. I’d like to speak French, it’s so romantic.
Erin: I want to play the harmonica really well.
What is inspiring you lately?
Corinne: I am mostly inspired by design and nature. I love imagining the layout of the space and pull my inspiration from a variety of sources from interior home design, to elements in nature, such as combinations of colors of the sky, animals, flowers, forests etc.
Erin: There is a song for me right now that I’m listening to and it is so good I wish I had written it. The band is called Belle Brigade and the song is called “Losers”. It is a really good song.
Rob: Music always inspires me. I also read lots of books and I’m always fascinated by the stuff that is counterintuitive to people. For example, did you know that you are less likely to get into a car accident if you don’t wear your seatbelt? You drive with more caution. I love stuff like that, like moral hazards. People think they are doing the right thing but it actually has the opposite affect. I’m endlessly fascinated by it.
If you could trade places with another person for a week, who would it be?
Rob: There is a guitar player that I love named Kurt Rosenwinkel. I always remember there was a Saturday Night Live show where Quincy Jones was the host and they had this skit called Jazz Talk with Mike Myers in a beret as the interviewer. Mike said, “Quincy Jones le Q, now what I would like you to do, can you do something for me? Can you move your head to the left so I can put my head where your head was so I can see what you see? So I can get inside the great le Q?” I would love to do that with Kurt Rosenwinkel so I can understand how he sees the guitar and the fret board. One week in there is all I would need. Or Erin actually, just to see the world through her eyes.
Corinne: The first thing that pops in my head would be to be someone from the future, so I can see what it will be like. Maybe it would be someone in my family, like a future grandchild or a nephew?
Erin: Steve Jobs 10 years ago, he was so good at inventing things and making it happen.
Rob: Even being the 13 year old me would be great to see how far I’ve come.
Erin: Rob, when you said you’d be me, that was cuter!
Erin, Corinne and Rob, thank you so much for taking part in our interview series! We loved getting to know you all better. Rob, you’ve definitely given us the best random skill answer in all our interviews so far!