A little about me

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My name is alison dahlie,

I am the founder and principle stylist at Compass Wedding Cafe.

How I started - I have been part of weddings here on the West Coast for almost ten years as a makeup artist. Back then I would have little communication with my brides leading up to the wedding day, so I was blind to the challenges of planning a wedding out here. I was a fly on the wall as I worked my magic with a brush. The common theme of the chatter in the room was how beautiful it is, yet how challenging it was to plan a wedding out here, specifically bringing together the decor. They would rent items from one company in Nanaimo, bringing something else from a place in Victoria, couriering linen from Vancouver, borrowing candle holders from a sister-in-law, then whoever was responsible for transporting the flowers on highway 4 was stressed to the max and hoped they survived.

All I could think of is “someone needs to help these people!”

I discussed this with the local planners and the hotels, and wondered why no one was helping in this way. It seemed it wasn’t their job. In the mean time I was always creating things, raising my little girls, oogling over wedding images, stepping in to help with a wedding set up because no one else would….and, well, as the saying goes,

if no one else will do it…

I was in love. I watched every tutorial video I could, attended every workshop I could, tried to remember lessons from my carpenter Dad, and gardener Mom, studied photos of elaborate set up to try and figure out the mechanics…..

Four years later and many lessons learned (still learning!), Compass is much different than how I blindly started it but the premise is the same - help couples create the wedding they imagined. Hundreds of weddings later and I am still excited I get to do this “job”.

As time went on, I opened The Wreckage, a giftshop in Ucluelet featuring locally made products, houseplants, vinyl, an espresso bar, and whatever else I can get my hands on that is unique and I think my customers will love. This is where I curate the products for the Bridesmaids and Groomsmen’s gift boxes from.

What I do has always been a part of who I am as a person, and I have never figured out the “work-life” balance. Perhaps it is because I just really love what I do and my family is part of it. You will probably see my three daughters playing during a beach set up, or my partner beside me placing final touches on decor. We live in Ucluelet with Oscar the dog and Willow the cat in a house that we are currently doing a full renovation on ourselves. I enjoy learning about design of all types, I drink to much coffee, and always have multiple projects on the go.