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WPIC in the Media

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Please speak with Danielle or Tracey at info@wpic.ca or (905) 474-9292

Personal Finances: The Unsexy Side of Self-Employment

Personal Finances2

by Danielle Andrews

Being self-employed is paradise. You have no one to answer to except the clients you choose to work with, a work schedule you choose, the money you make for the company is your money, you get tax write-offs and tax-breaks on everything from housing to your vehicle. It is great to be self-employed.

One thing most of us don’t like to think about are the securities you give up when working for yourself; Pension Plans, Long and Short-term Disability, Unemployment Insurance, Employee Health Plans, taxes being deducted and calculated for you, etc. There are definitely perks to working for someone else.

To get the best of both worlds, one must pay attention to the unsexy side of self-employment: personal finances.

Often when I talk to self-employed people they mention their long-time goal of winning the lottery. I know I will win the lottery one day, but apparently a bunch of other people think they will too. So to all of you who probably are not going to win the lottery, what is your retirement plan?

It may seem crazy to think about retirement when you are so young, but if you don’t start planning for it now, you will have nothing to live on later. How are you preparing yourself and your finances for the day that you are too old to work? You need to have enough money put aside to support yourself for about 20 years. If you were working for someone else, 20-40% of your income would be deducted for taxes, pension plan, etc. In order to plan for your future, it is time to start taking the same amount and putting it aside for the same things.

What you need to do now:

  • Put aside 20-30% of your income for taxes, every month (assuming you choose to use those tax write-offs and breaks available to you.)
  • Open an RRSP. Now.
  • Quit paying your landlord’s mortgage, buy something. That investment will help you later on.
  • Get a Life Insurance policy. Protect your loved ones.

Many of us can not picture working for someone else ever again. I know someone who owned his own company for 35 years, just last month he went out of business and had to go work for someone else, at the age of 60, because he doesn’t have enough saved or put away in RRSPs to be able to retire. This is not a situation any of us can imagine, so please take steps now to ensure you will be in control of your finances later.

Are you Comfortable or Too Comfortable With Your Clients?

Photo by Avenue-Photo.com

Photo by Avenue-Photo.com

By: Tracey Manailescu

Recently I was shopping with one of my clients for his tuxedo and his six groomsmen’s suits. Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, the Bride-to-be, his best man, and two groomsmen filled out our awesome little group at the store. The staff came up to the Bride-to-be and I, and asked who Mom was.  We said that is the Groom’s mom.  She turned to the Bride-to-be and said, “Wow.  I feel sorry for you. She would drive me crazy!” Well, the Bride-to-be and I stood there with our mouths open for a couple of seconds, then the Bride-to-be turned to me and shook her head to just let it go. I immediately changed the subject and we moved long. Whoa!!! Remember, we were there to spend quite a bit of money on the Groom and his six groomsmen.

We decided not to mention this incident to the Groom.  You can bet your sweet patootie that I will never recommend bringing another client there. Ever! I also will be making a call to the store’s Manager once the wedding is over.

Another event that comes to mind was at a conference. One of the staff (a key staff for the event), who happened to be running the registration desk was openly gossiping and complaining about an attendee who was just at the desk a few moments before. This was in front of others waiting in line. This same person was later falling over drunk at a scheduled activity at the same event. Unbelievable!

For me, both of these incidents are inexcusable. Where is their professionalism? These are both people who are being paid or put in a position of authority related to overseeing clients.

There is a HUGE difference when you are slated in a role set out as a person in charge. We have produced several conferences, led FAM trips, run WPIC classes, and have seen a lot from attendees over the years.

One of the craziest experiences as a Conference Producer was when one of our attendees decided to try to change our schedule of events so that another attendee could squeeze in their vow renewals in front of all of us. Somehow they thought this was going to fly by us, and all would be groovy.  Wait, what?  At that same conference, two other attendees tried to change the order in which photos were being taken.  They tried to shuffle our scheduled HUGE group photo event (that was a part of the Conference) to a later time, so that they could get a private photo shoot ahead of our group one. They did all of this behind our backs with yelling at the Photography Department to try to sway them.  Thank goodness, they called us right away to let us know what was going on.

Jennifer and Shawn’s Italian Countryside Wedding

When I first saw WPIC alumni Jennifer LaVie’s wedding on Facebook last year I was floored! She has this magic touch to make everything she does stand out and does it in such a way that it is romantic, unique and different than anything else I have seen. Prince Edward Island is lucky to have her and her company, Kiss the Bride.

Her very own wedding in the Italian countryside gave me goosebumps and I practically begged her to let us feature it (okay, okay I really and truly did beg her). If romance, sunsets and true love are your thing, then this one’s for you!

Congratulations, and thank you for allowing us to share your gorgeous wedding and heartfelt words with us, Jennifer and Shawn!

“Going to Italy has been a dream of mine for a long time, and I assumed that it was a long way off.  I certainly never thought I’d get to go for something as amazing as photographing a wedding.  Shawn & Jennifer are a very lovely, genuine couple, so to travel to such an incredible place to photograph the wedding of such an incredible couple literally was a dream come true for me.  I am so grateful to have been invited along to be a part of their beautiful wedding adventure in Italy.” -Heather Wilkinson of Heather Wilkinson Photographer

 Heather Wilkinson | photographer

Heather Wilkinson | photographer

“A lot of people questioned us when we decided to get married so far away from home. It wasn’t easy, but it was definitely worth it. We had a ton of stressful paperwork to endure for the legality of being married in Italy as well as through the church. We struggled against language barriers, culture differences, time zones. We delayed the wedding for over a year to allow extra time for everyone to plan and save (including us). In short, it felt like we waited a decade. We now look back at that time with so much happiness. It was absolutely the most amazing 3.5 weeks of our lives. Side note – thank you to my mom who at times literally pulled me through days where I thought I couldn’t endure the stress any more.

Still to this day we get asked “why Italy?” Our answer is “why not?”. We knew we wanted to have a destination wedding from day one. Shawn proposed the day before we went on a huge family vacation to The Dominican Republic, so that set the theme pretty quickly. For someone who had been working in the wedding industry for 8 years, it was going to be a challenge for me to break away from work mode & separate the two worlds. We literally made a list of our top places, did the research and Italy won. At first we had our hearts set on The Amalfi Coast (hello have you seen that place?) After a bit more research Tuscany was slightly in the lead. Then I surprised Shawn with two tickets to Italy for his birthday in the fall of 2014. We used that time to explore and visit different places all over the country. When we arrived to the medieval town of Petritoli, which was neither in Tuscany or the Amalfi Coast, it was instant – we were in love.
Heather Wilkinson | photographer

Heather Wilkinson | photographer

We had driven all night and were so tired when we arrived, but were greeted by the two most gracious hosts imaginable, treated to a meal fit for a king and given two nights complimentary accommodation in their Palazzo. We stayed in a total of 5 different places, but Petritoli was the only place we stayed for 2 nights. When we left, Shawn kept asking “do we have to go to the next place?”, but I insisted that we give every place a fair shot. Though the last destination was the only real contender to the Palazzo, we found ourselves researching info on Petritoli while we were visiting this lovely countryside hamlet. That was pretty telling to us. I remember putting my iPad down, looking at Shawn and saying “what am I doing?”. We just knew. We could not wait to get back. Any one of our guests who joined us will tell you that Petritoli is simply enchanting. Waking up every morning to the most spectacular views of the rolling hills, mountains and other hilltop towns in the distance is beyond words.” 
Heather Wilkinson | photographer

Heather Wilkinson | photographer

js shawn

Heather Wilkinson | photographer

js shawn1

Heather Wilkinson | photographer

 “I had our stationery designer make a card in which I wrote a letter to Shawn for the morning of the wedding. Rumour has it there was a tear or two.”
Heather Wilkinson | photographer

Heather Wilkinson | photographer

“I also had a personalized leather Bible made for him with our names and date, as a wedding gift.”
js bible

Heather Wilkinson | photographer

js tear

Heather Wilkinson | photographer

 “I remember being so excited as the clock approached 4:00. I couldn’t wait to get down to the church, even though we had a crazy walk down steep cobblestone hills to get there (errr, did you see those shoes?). I wanted to run down! Thanks to my posse, I made it without even a wobble.”
Heather Wilkinson | photographer

Heather Wilkinson | photographer

 “The ceremony was beautiful, I will never forget Shawn’s face when he first saw me. Ever. Or the words that he said to me when I reached him at the top of the aisle. My fellow brides – are you with me? Is this not the most memorable moment ever?”
Heather Wilkinson | photographer

Heather Wilkinson | photographer

js jennifer

Heather Wilkinson | photographer

js church

Heather Wilkinson | photographer

Heather Wilkinson | photographer

Heather Wilkinson | photographer

 “Shawn also said some very sweet words to Victoria during the ceremony and we surprised her with a rose gold engraved locket. I don’t think there was one dry eye in the house.  
Heather Wilkinson | photographer

Heather Wilkinson | photographer

Afterward, we had local dancers perform outside of the church, which is a tradition in Italy (we tried to follow as many of their traditions as possible as we wanted an authentic experience). Our guests still comment on how this was the best surprise. Shawn was right in there with them, high kicks and all.”
Heather Wilkinson | photographer

Heather Wilkinson | photographer

Heather Wilkinson | photographer

Heather Wilkinson | photographer

“They led us down into our cocktail, a sweet multi-level space overlooking more stunning countryside views, where we had Italian bellinis, lots of food and hand made local gelato from a vintage cart. Sooo good.” 
Heather Wilkinson | photographer

Heather Wilkinson | photographer

Heather Wilkinson | photographer

Heather Wilkinson | photographer

 “As our guests enjoyed cocktail, we eventually left to take photos. While driving, we passed this random field, and hit the brakes when we saw the most stunning sunset view over the hillside imaginable.” 
Heather Wilkinson | photographer

Heather Wilkinson | photographer

Heather Wilkinson | photographer

Heather Wilkinson | photographer

 “Needless to say we stopped and snapped some photos in this field. We had to get up onto a little hill by foot and I had to take my shoes off (thanks Heather for lending me your flip flops and photographing barefoot to get the shot). I remember Shawn pushing me up onto the top of the hill while our photographers pulled me. Oh the things we do.”
Heather Wilkinson | photographer

Heather Wilkinson | photographer

Heather Wilkinson | photographer

Heather Wilkinson | photographer

Heather Wilkinson | photographer

Heather Wilkinson | photographer

“My favourite photo came from this place though. My favourite moment, unscripted. Just us, taking it all in and enjoying an embrace.” 
Heather Wilkinson | photographer

Heather Wilkinson | photographer

“Our favourite quote, from Ruth 1:16 “Where you go I will go, where you stay I will stay” was placed on the back of our chairs. This past January, we each got a part of the verse tattooed on our arms.” #crazy
Heather Wilkinson | photographer

Heather Wilkinson | photographer

“Our guests received locally made, organic olive oil in vintage bottles to take home. We also followed Italian tradition and incorporated rosemary which is meant to be a sign of good luck.
js table

Heather Wilkinson | photographer

js table1

Heather Wilkinson | photographer

We ate al fresco in front of the landmark “Tre Archi” (three arches) & enjoyed some live Italian music.”
js food js food1
“During dinner, Shawn surprised everyone (especially me) by playing a song that he had written, sung and recorded for me as a wedding gift. What, you didn’t believe me that he was incredible? Told you. It was the most romantic thing I could have imagined. More tears. It was beautiful. 
We ended the night dancing to his song.” 
Heather Wilkinson | photographer

Heather Wilkinson | photographer

Heather Wilkinson | photographer

Heather Wilkinson | photographer

 “The experience at times really did feel like a fairytale, but for me the blessing to marry the man I married was the biggest fairytale of all.” 
Shoes: Badgley Mishka
Grooms Shoes: Vince Camuto
Dress: The Handmade Bride
Groom’s suit: Moores

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