meet the planners
Located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Elysium Events is a joint venture that began with the combined creative talents of Jessie Kumagai and Helena Gibson. With more than 20 years of combined event planning experience, they are enthusiastic and devoted to your vision and personal requirements.
Photo by Butter Studios
jessie kumagai Co-Owner & Principal Planner
With a passion for love stories, little details, and all things pretty, I discovered my love for planning weddings. After becoming engaged myself, I enlisted the help of a good friend (Helena!) to help me out with my wedding plans, and working together on my wedding became the foundation for Elysium Events. With a business degree in Finance and Marketing, and my past experience with planning large-scale fundraising events for a non-profit organization, I realized that planning weddings would be the perfect blend of my skills and passions. Since 2003, we’ve helped numerous couples plan their special day. For me, the most rewarding part of being a wedding planner is having the opportunity and pleasure to work so closely with our couples and their families during such a happy time in their lives. I love the close relationship that develops with our couples, giving them a sense of comfort, trust and confidence in us. It give me great satisfaction to see all the little details come together on the big day, the joy and love in our couples’ eyes, and the smiles on their guests’ faces.
When I’m not planning weddings, I can be found running around with my two young and energetic boys, taking our dog (a fluffy white bichon named Tofu) for a walk, or trying to spend a few precious moments with my hubbie amidst our busy days. I love to embrace life’s daily adventures and special celebrations, and I am thrilled that being a wedding planner allows me to help others embrace their celebration of love.
Photo by Butter Studios
helena gibson Co-Owner & Principal Planner
Jessie and I started this company over 10 years ago and I still feel the same excitement today before every couple’s big day. It’s like butterflies before a second date and it lasts from the moment we see the bride for the very first time to the last song being played on the dance floor. My past experience in Catering & Conventions working at some of the top hotels in Vancouver have taught us how to work alongside venues to create a flawless journey for our clients. I have always loved how changes in details such as decor, invitations, cake or flowers can make each wedding unique and special. By the time the planning process is well under way, we’ve developed a close connection to our couples and feel that we have become old friends. And as with any friends, I want to make sure their dream day goes off without a hitch. When I can offer advice to couples and hear the sound of giddiness in their voice, it makes the hard work I put into their wedding day all the more worthwhile. After all, we are working towards showcasing their vision of love for two very best friends. And, we love people in love.
I love traveling with my husband to seek out the good eats and explore what each city has to offer. And with our recent addition to our family, it’s been quite a fun-filled adjustment to our routine. But ask any wedding planner and I’m sure they will confirm that we juggle many hats on any given day.