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By guest blogger: Brooke Oberst
What Wedding Vendors Think They Know, but Don’t
I recently got married this past May and learned a lot about myself, and the wedding industry in general during my 10 months of planning and prepping. You should know that not only am I very particular about things, but my husband and I have a non-traditional style. We didn’t want a first dance, I wasn’t going to be wearing white, he wasn’t tossing a garter, and so on. We are laid back people who chose bits and pieces of what many consider to be ‘traditional’ aspects of a wedding. Yes, everything had to be perfect–but it also had to be relaxed. There were so many things that came together last minute some would think we should have just gone to a courthouse. I encountered a few vendors throughout the process that I fell in love with, those were the people and companies I felt comfortable with and wanted to work with. On the flip side, there were many vendors I wished we could have moved forward with, but ultimately they weren’t going to meet our needs because they weren’t able to work with us.
Diamonds Aren’t Always a Girl’s Best Friend
I am not, nor will I ever be, a jewelry girl. I have a nice pair of pearls for work, and my wedding ring, but every other piece of jewelry I am gifted sits on display in our spare bedroom (where the cats and dog can’t get them). Going into our engagement, I knew I wanted my engagement ring to double as my wedding band, with no extra frills. I needed (and preferred) white gold, and when my future husband Mike went to get the ring, he knew a trillion cut ruby was what my heart desired. The original jeweler we went to made shopping for a ring such a hassle, Mike ended up going elsewhere to have it custom made.
Wedding ring vendors take note: There are so many great resources on buying an engagement ring, selecting the stone, and how much to save up, most people shopping for wedding and engagement rings already know what they want and how much they’ll spend. When you force ‘your ideal way’ to buy jeweler on potential customers, you may be turning away profit.
Floral Ideas Can Flourish (with a little water)
I knew I wanted to incorporate succulents into my centerpieces -something that is slowly becoming more popular. Some things to consider when selecting centerpieces are lighting, height, and venue restrictions. Other things I considered included finding something that was in season (so I could plant it after the wedding), a plant or flower that was cost efficient, and a succulent that would tie in easily with my rose bouquet. The first florist I went to quoted me an exorbitant amount for (what I considered cheap looking) rose bouquets. The second florist told me getting a succulent into a bouquet would be nearly impossible (which it is).
Florists take note: I went with my florist because they delivered on both the execution of the bouquets and centerpieces, and they actually delivered to the venue. Work with your customer. The old adage, ‘Where there is a will, there is a way,’ can’t ring more true in this instance. My bouquet ended up being twice as big because the succulents were too heavy to be supported by a smaller one. My florist explained that, offered me an alternative, and retained me as a customer.
We Can Help You Set Up (kind of)
Vendors have their own way of setting up laid out perfectly in their mind, and I get that. That being said, with a backyard wedding, available space is a whole different ball game. I was lucky–Mike and I got married at my parents’ house. They have some acreage, and my dad was the event manager at a ritzy hotel for 10 years. We had hired a food truck and a large photo booth, both of which would need a lot of room, and were informed of the amount of room they’d need beforehand. Space is so important for having a successful outdoor event, and given the setup of my parents’ property, we had to do some finagling.
For starters, my parents had to have the food truck park on the lawn on the side of the house. We didn’t want people having to go on a trek for food, only to have to trek all the way back to the tables. In preparation, my parents stopped watering that section of their lawn a week beforehand. It made it safe for the food truck to drive onto, and their yard wouldn’t get damaged. They knew what needed to be done, and went for it.
We were given the dimensions of the photo booth a month before the big day. We found the perfect spot and merely had to move around some furniture to make space. When the photography booth showed up, the vendors were displeased with the location we had selected and insisted it be moved elsewhere. If you don’t already know, photo booth placement is vital. The spot they wanted to move it to may have had more space, but, the manner in which the sun would be setting would ruin any and all photos taken in the booth. It took some convincing, but the photo booth remained where we originally intended it to, and we got some sweet photos as a result.
Backyard wedding vendors take note: Customers know their event area better than you do. Listen to what venue owners have to say in order to collaborate in a non-stressful manner quickly and to resolve any bumps that may arise if the location or set up makes your job difficult.
Trust Flows Both Ways
As a vendor, you’ve likely been a part of 100+ weddings. You’re the expert. You’ve seen the mishaps, the struggles, and what works. Just because you have the experience though, doesn’t mean you can’t trust the customer. I placed a lot of trust in our vendors, and having that returned was important.
My seamstress needed precise measurements for my skirt. Her quality of work depended on it. Wedding dress shopping is stressful. PERIOD. My seamstress requested I set an appointment for a fitting, but I wasn’t interested in driving 4 hours to see her for just a fitting. If I had the luxury of taking that time off, I would have spent a day at the spa. She needed to know that I wanted her to get it right just as much as she did. She trusted me to get her the right measurements and I did. My skirt fit beautifully.
All parties involved want weddings to be successful. Vendors need to make money and garner positive reviews, and newlyweds want their day to be everything they hoped it would be–with little to no problems. By ensuring there is trust, a willingness to try things, and the capability to listen and truly hear what someone is asking for, wedding vendors and their consumers can enjoy the fruits of their labor and a long lasting relationship.
by Karolina Fernandes, WPICC of Diamonds Wedding Planners in Ottawa, Ontario
Lets go back a year. At that time, I was on maternity leave with my second child and I knew it was time for a change in my career. I wanted to have my own business and be my own boss. Since my wedding, I had thoughts of becoming a wedding planner. A year ago, I decided that was what I was going to do.
As soon as my little one grew a bit and I was able to get some free time, I signed up for a wedding planner course with WPIC. The course was a blast. I met a few ladies that had the same interests as me. Our teacher was awesome and made the two-day course fly by. She shared with us some of her secrets to becoming a successful wedding planner.
After the course, I had the confidence to believe I could do it.
In January 2016, I launched my own wedding planning business: Diamonds Wedding Planners. I can tell you now that it wasn’t easy but I did it. I began to follow Facebook groups, get in touch with various vendors in Ottawa, put together my own Facebook Page, created business accounts for Instagram and Pinterest… And, of course, I spent hours seeing how many likes I got and who is following me.
The biggest challenge for me was getting the confidence to believe I could successfully plan someone else’s wedding. I did have some prior experience with friends and I coordinated my own wedding but that wasn’t enough for me.
To overcome this, I decided to put together a styled wedding photoshoot because that is the best way to practice, meet vendors and build experience. It took several weeks for everything to come together. As a theme, I chose rustic scenery with lots of flowers and a classy look. The next step was to contact local vendors and persuade them to collaborate. There were ups and downs. Not all vendors were open to the idea, but at the end of the day I was able to collaborate with the right vendors. I envisioned the photoshoot outdoors and, in order had to have warm weather, I scheduled the styled wedding shoot on May 31st at Orchard View Wedding and Event Centre.
The styled wedding photoshoot turned out fabulous. All the vendors who supported my project were amazing! My vision came alive and I was very happy.
During the day, we worked six hours straight with no break. The day started with driving to a few locations to pick up the bridal gown, hair accessories and the groom’s suit. On-site we started with decor and styling. The models (Anthony and Janelle) had their make-up and hair done and got ready for the shoot. Then our photographer and videographer arrived and worked on their parts.
We had planned to take pictures at a few locations – like a real wedding. First, the models getting ready, then the ceremony and then the reception. Our models were so patient, understanding and willing to do whatever it took to get a perfect shot. For example, towards the end of the day as it got cooler I could see the model bride getting cold. But, she did not complain at all, kept a smile on her face and continued delivering beautiful pictures.
All the vendors did such a wonderful job. I had an amazing team! The majority of our collaborators took time off their own busy schedule to be there and support us. They gave it everything and nothing less.
Today, I can say that my business is off the ground. I had booked three destination weddings and planned four local. In September, I will exhibit my business at the Wedding Palace Bridal Show in Ottawa with the hopes of taking the next step. The journey has been difficult. But, with hard work, the support of friends and family, and with professional training and education, I can say that I am proud to be where I am today. A year ago, I made a decision to go for it. Today, I am more confident than ever that it was the right decision.
Planning & Coordinating: Diamonds Wedding Planners Ottawa/Destination
Photographer/Videographer: Amar Auluck Photography
Venue: Orchard View Wedding & Event Centre
Decor/Styling: Pearl Decor
Flowers: Ottawa Flowers
Flower Crown: Jewel Feathers
Cake: Dulce Couture Cakes
Stationery: Wishtree Invitations & Design Inc.
Make-up Artist: Dazzling Faces Makeup Artistry
Hair: Liana LaCroix Beauty
Bridal Gown: La Maison Bridal Boutique
Menswear: L’HEXAGONE Vêtements pour hommes | Menswear
Models: Anthony Jonathan and Janelle Ashley, of Power Model Management
Jewellery: Harden’s Jewellers
Liquid Entertainment’s new wedding entertainment is making a lot of noise
by Patryck Wasiak, WPICC, Entertainment Director at Liquid Entertainment in Niagara Region, ON
“Seriously, every party should be like this. So much fun!”
“I have to be honest, I thought it was an odd concept when I heard about it, but WOW! I would take this over a ‘ normal’ wedding any day.”
“Love, love, LOVE the beats.”
“I can’ t remember the last time I had this much fun.”
A party is only as good as its DJ, and our team is more than up to the task.DJ Patryk, DJ Luka and DJ Charles are more than just DJs, they are the entertainment directors for your event. They spin the jams, work the mic and transform your event space into party central. Reading the room, acting as MC , leading your favourite party games, timing the lighting and special effects are all in a day’s work.
The Liquid team go the extra mile to ensure your event is nothing short of spectacular. Leading up to your event they carefully plan each details of your event’s entertainment. From your first consultation to the final song of the night, your Liquid Entertainment DJ will be alongside you every step of the way.