get to know michelle garber and tamara niyazov of fab fete events, 1
Photo Courtesy of Purple Tree Wedding Photography
  • Name: Michelle Garber and Tamara Niyazov
  • Company: Fab Fete Events
  • Years in Business: 12

So how’d you get started? 

Michelle was originally in corporate events, while I (Tamara) was a teacher. Around 13 years ago, a friend asked Michelle to plan their wedding and Michelle brought me in as well. At that point, we fell in love with the wedding and events industry and the rest is history!

When did you get your first big break? 

Michelle was trying on wedding dresses for her own wedding at a local dress store and she overheard the woman in the next stall mention that she was looking for a planner. Michelle introduced herself, handed her a business card, and the bride hired Fab Fete to plan her wedding! That was the first wedding we ever planned under our new company and it turned out to be a very elaborate, high end event, setting the path for other similar weddings. 

When did you decide to partner together? 

Michelle opened the business and asked me (Tamara) to join shortly afterwards. Two heads are always better than one and we work so well together that it just made sense. Although rare, when disagreements do occur, we always talk it through and make sure to really listen to one another and understand each other’s point of view. 

What is the hardest part of starting your own business?

The hardest part of starting your own business is making contacts in the industry and getting your name out there. When we first opened, we spent months meeting with reputable vendors in the industry and building relationships and trust.

What do you dislike most about running your own business? Any specific challenges you can touch on? 

The hardest part of running your own business is that you can never truly shut off your brain and stop working. Whether it is the middle of the night or you are on vacation, owning a wedding planning business means always having to be available for your clients.

Learning from failure is a valuable and inevitable part of most entrepreneurial journeys. What was your “best failure” that taught you the most? 

Although we always put our 100% into every event, sometimes things do not always go as planned. We learned early on to always have a plan B, as events have a lot of moving parts are incredibly fluid. For example, at a wedding several years ago, the DJ was running late due to a personal emergency and we had to start the ceremony without him. We anticipated a possible issue, so we made sure to download the couple’s ceremony music to a Spotify playlist prior to the wedding day and then ended up playing the music through my iphone, which we connected to the in house A/V speaker. Our assistant was in charge of starting and stopping the songs for the processional, while we queued the processional order. Fortunately, this on-the-fly solution worked out seamlessly and thankfully, the DJ arrived shortly afterwards.

get to know michelle garber and tamara niyazov of fab fete events, 2

How has the job/profession/industry changed since you first started? 

Social media and specifically with the emergence and popularity of Instagram, the event world is changing at a much faster pace than when we first started. Everyone is always looking for the next new trend!

What drives you? 

We love having the opportunity to be super creative and think outside the box with our event design. Seeing our clients’ joy and happiness at the end result is always so rewarding!

What’s one big tip you would give to up-and-comers in the industry? 

Value your worth and do not undersell yourself. Being a competent and professional planner is a difficult and stressful job, so make sure to charge accordingly. 

And now for the Bonus Round…

You wouldn’t be you without?

Michelle & Tamara:
Each other! It sounds cheesy but we really are a perfect pair. Fab Fete would not be as successful if it wasn’t for our cohesive partnership and how much we value and appreciate each other. We are very similar in many ways, especially in regard to our work ethic and personalities, but we also have some different skill sets that complement each other nicely. For example, Tamara is much more organized, so she ensures that all of our client files are very detailed and properly organized; whereas Michelle is much more proficient with social media, so she deals with all of our socials. 

What’s at the top of your bucket list? 

get to know michelle garber and tamara niyazov of fab fete events, 3

Tamara: Safari trip to Africa
Michelle: Trip to Dubai

Favourite celebrity and why? 

Michelle: The Backstreet Boys because they have always been my favourite group, ever since I was a teenager
Tamara: Angelina Jolie. I admire her talent, beauty, and grace.

What’s your one guilty pleasure you enjoy too much to give up? 

Michelle: Chocolate
Tamara: Wine

If you could retire anywhere in the world, where would it be? 

Michelle: Hawaii
Tamara: Spain or Italy

What’s the first thing you do when you open your eyes in the morning? 

Michelle: I put on my under-eye patches and then I put on the news
Tamara: I check my emails, social media, and news on my phone.

What was the last fun thing you bought? 

Michelle: A wireless blender so I can make shakes on the go
Tamara: Shoes (I have a bit of an obsession)