Candace Lam had to learn how to fall in love with herself after experiencing one of the most difficult and career-defining moments of her life nearly 6 years ago. The power of love is what kept her grounded and ready to tackle anything in front of her with grace, sweetness, and passion.
In 2012, Candace founded Love is Sweet Events, an events and wedding planning company based in Pasadena, California. She launched her business shortly after losing a job and simultaneously planning her own wedding.
“I was engaged in 2012 and while planning my own wedding, I actually got fired from my previous job because I stepped up to express my thoughts with my boss. At that time, I was feeling a bit lost because I needed money to pay for my own wedding and living,” said Candace.
After sobbing for a few hours while stuck in LA traffic, Candace asked herself three questions she hadn’t asked herself before:
“What is it that I want?”
“What do I have?”
“What can I do with my gifted talent and turn that into something incredible?”
Candace feared she had to postpone her wedding date as the bills began to pile up after quitting her job. She had a few options: find a temporary job or take the time to look within and find a career she could fall in love with.
“I thought I needed to hurry up and just get a temporary job, whatever could pay the bills. But instead, I chose to sit down, and give myself time to realize that it’s not the end of the world. Rather, it’s the beginning of a new chapter in life.”
Candace knew she had a knack for planning and initiating creative projects, but never quite saw herself as owning her own business. Despite these doubts in her head, she decided to just go for it.
She tapped into her entrepreneurial talents and realized that she had always been meticulous about details and loved perfection and planning events. The one career that stuck out to her was wedding planning and spending her days surrounded by love. Candace seemingly eased into wedding planning with a love for all things sweet—it was like a match made in heaven.
“I have always enjoyed planning special events, family vacations, and just planning things in general. I love seeing people’s reactions and love that I am literally changing their lives.”
That same evening, Candace started doing research on how to plan her own wedding as practice before she got into planning weddings for others.
“I felt like once I was able to plan my own wedding, I realized I would be able to plan many more people’s weddings.”
She took some time to figure out how much was in her savings and whether she had enough funds to start her own company as a wedding planner.
Candace spent nearly three months drafting and writing her own business plan, taking a wedding planning certified course, and branding and building her website. After the culmination of long hours and plenty of uncertainty and doubt, Candace finally established her company.
Since 2012, her company has been featured on prominent wedding blogs and magazines, and online wedding marketplaces like WeddingWire and The Knot.
Love is Sweet Events wants to remind clients that love always melts our hearts and is always sweet, says Candace. Wedding planning can be stressful, so Candace and her team hope to spread as much joy and love as possible during one of the most hectic but sweet moments.
When it comes to wedding planning, Candace and her team are grateful for the opportunity to create a memorable experience for couples and their families. It’s often about the loving experience left behind — not the party favors, or even the cake, or the fancy arrangement and material items. It’s about the ambiance created by the team of planners who helped make a couple’s day extra special.
“It is something that they will remember for the rest of their lives because it is a special moment and a once in a lifetime moment,” said Candace.
This year, Candace and her team have booked approximately 40 weddings. Her clients are from all over Southern California – from the San Gabriel Valley to the Westside, Inland Empire, and Orange County.
Often the most rewarding part of the wedding planning process is when Candace’s clients recognize her team’s creativity and hard work, often doing a shoutout during a “Thank You” speech in front of all their guests, Candace said.
One of her favorite moments after planning a wedding is being able to witness the couple’s first dance and seeing the love in their eyes, says Candace.
“I still find it a miracle to see two people are truly in love, the way they smile and look at each other, they promise to take care of each other because of love. It is still melting my heart even if I have planned over 100 weddings already,” said Candace.
Although wedding planning is a tough and stressful job, it’s still very much rewarding, says Candace. She thrives on challenges and enjoys collaborating with her team, clients, and vendors, making sure that everything is running smoothly before, in between, and on the big day so that the couple and their families can enjoy without stressing out about the little details.
Candace loves keeping up with the latest trends in the wedding world. Lately, she shares that she’s been seeing a lot more hints of gold and rose gold at wedding ceremonies.
“Instead of a big ball gown, the bride often chooses a simple lace wedding dress, and instead of three or four tier wedding cakes, they would rather just do a newlywed cake with one tier,” said Candace, who emphasized the minimalistic elements in weddings that still make a big statement.
When she is not planning weddings or scoping out venues and flower shops, Candace is busy spending time with her toddler son Casper, who loves to read and dance.
“Casper is one of my biggest motivations. I tell him every day and night how much I love him, I explain to him that mommy goes to work and makes money for the family, and I always think about him.”
Candace says being a full-time mompreneur, wife, and wedding planner is a balancing act. “My focus is with my family and I try to spend as much time as possible with Casper by taking him to different museums and parks. Being a mom is already a full-time job and managing my own business (my other baby) keep my hands full every day, but I still enjoy doing what I am doing because I love my job,” said Candace.
A voracious planner and travel bug, Candace loves visiting new places and immersing herself in new experiences and binge-watching romantic comedies like “The Big Sick.”
Candace loves sharing her travel stories and is currently facing her fear of heights and swimming. Just recently, Candace went to Jamaica with her husband, where they went horseback riding along the coast.“My horse left the group, he had decided to jump into the water and started swimming. I started getting nervous and asked for help!” She also plans to visit Peru for her birthday in September.
Another memorable traveling experience she recalls was when she went zip lining in Catalina Island with her husband. Unfortunately, she was stuck in the middle of the line for a long time, which scared her half to death. But at that moment, there was something beautifully calming because she realized that she stepped out of her comfort zone–much like what she has done launching her own business and falling in love with herself again.
“Though these experiences kind of scared me, it doesn’t stop me from doing new activity. I learn how to not get stuck at the zipline by adjusting my body a little bit better. I was so scared of water because I didn’t know how to swim, so I went ahead and learned how to swim while traveling to Cancun.”
Candace says as a wedding planner, her goal is to ultimately capture the sweetness of love on a couple’s special day, through careful selection, and meshing of personalities and different eclectic tastes to create a warm and welcoming ambiance on the big day.
“Love heals people. Love brings people together. Love is strong, and it can conquer fear. Love brings hope to people and it can change people for the better. Love is joyful and when two people are truly in love, it is the sweetest thing ever,” said Candace.
Candace is grateful for finding a career that is fulfilling, rewarding, and challenging and encourages those who are in a creative rut to keep going and to create their own opportunities if they hit a brick wall. Every day is a learning opportunity and challenge, says Lam.
“I am still learning in my current job, every single day the universe is giving me lots of opportunities to learn and shape myself to become a better person, a better Mom, a better wife, a better daughter, a better boss.”
Written by Monica Luhar
*All photos courtesy Candace Lam.
Learn more about Candace and Love is Sweet Events here.