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WPICer ArthurK Wins Wedding Professional of the Year!

ArthurK Wedding Pro of the Year

Last week the 18th Canadian Event Industry Star Awards were handed out by Canadian Special Events, and our very own Arthur Kerekes (known as ArthurK) won Wedding Professional of the Year!

Congratulations Arthur, we are so proud of you!

About Arthur

ArthurK WPICC of Fusion EventsArthurK, President of Fusion Events, has a long history of being involved in the events industry. As one of the founding members of the Juno Nominated band God Made Me Funky, ArthurK has been attending weddings and events regularly since the age of 17.

Having worked in many facets of the events industry and with some of the best suppliers, vendors, venues, and event planners in the country and abroad, ArthurK has mastered what works and what doesn’t when it comes to event planning and entertaining.  

Specializing in trendy, high-end, extravagant weddings, ArthurK is able to offer his clients much more than the average planner. By combining his many talents in music, entertainment, production and planning, Arthur is changing the face of wedding planning in Toronto.

An urban wedding planner with a modern, forward-thinking approach, ArthurK makes his mark as a visionary, artistic and dedicated figure, both as an event planner to his clients and as an inspiring leader to his team members.


Seriously Helpful Tools for Selecting Your Business Name


By: Tracey Manailescu

Selecting your business name may be one of the hardest things a start up company will do. Whatever you choose, it needs to invoke a feeling within yourself and others, and be able to attract the right clients to your service. We are talking about weddings, of course, but it really can apply to any business. This name will be associated with you in the business world so make it a good fit.


Who Is Target Market? What type of couples are you trying to attract? Who do you want to work with? Budget, high-end, DIY, second marriages, LGBT, romantic, celebrities, etc. Think of 2-3 words that relate to your target market. What nouns and adjectives will best describe your target market?

Ask for Opinions from Friends, Family and Industry Peers: Your family and friends know you best. Ask them what words come to mind when they think of you and what type of clients they think you would work best with.

Is the Name Easy to Remember and Easy to Spell? Will people be able to remember your business name after hearing it? Will they be able to quickly search for it online without thinking twice? If it’s difficult to spell or in another language, then it may put a barrier in your way. Is it similar to another company’s name? If so, then it may just give the other company a leg up in a search. Is it a spin on spelling? FlowerZ, WeddingsZ may put you at a disadvantage right away.

All of the Good Names are Taken: Wrong. Stop being lazy and start being creative. Did you know that there are approximately 1,025,109 words in the English language? There is no need to make your name similar to someone else’s. Here is a great website specifically for finding “Adjectives Describing People and Personal Qualities Vocabulary Word List”:  I love this!



Hire a Copywriter: Seriously. There are companies that do this for a living, and it doesn’t have to be only for big corporations. You can work with them to get the right name for your company that invokes what you are trying to accomplish.

Availability? Check social media, domain searches, registries, look for both .ca or .com or wherever it is that you live in the world. A thesaurus can help out when there is another name that you love, but is too similar to someone else in the same industry. Did you know that there are some companies that will help you search for domain names based off of keywords that you select, and they are FREE?

Good luck! Do you have any other tips or suggestions? Please share below.

Social Media Do’s and Don’ts for the Wedding Professional

Social Media

by Danielle Andrews Sunkel

Social Media is a great way to show your personality to potential clients and business contacts.  Like most things though, it is a double-edged sword.  If you aren’t careful, you could be showing potential clients and business contacts a less-than-flattering side of you.

Here is just a little reminder about using Social Media, I have seen so many people destroy their professional image by an immature rant or sharing way too much information.

If you wouldn’t include everyone on the email list of a major corporation, why are you posting it on Facebook & Twitter?
If you are going to have business contacts, clients or past clients on your friends list, you need to always keep that in mind before you post something.  Best friends, family members and spouses are your sounding board, not your Facebook friends and Twitter followers.

Don’t share gross medical conditions
People really, really don’t want to hear what is oozing or congealing on you.  If you must share, call a friend.

Think twice before posting
If you wouldn’t tell anyone on your list something face to face, why post it for everyone to see?

Ranting makes you look emotionally disturbed
Stressed professional on computer Anytime someone expresses too much emotion about a topic, they appear a little unhinged. Think about the cat girl on the eHarmony video. Its great to be passionate, but too much passion is scary. 

As well, constantly posting veiled rants and inferences about a situation or people makes YOU look bad.  People will usually see you as exhibiting the very behaviour or character trait that you are speaking out against.

By trying to tear someone down on a public forum, you look petty, jealous, passive aggressive and extremely insecure, not exactly glowing traits.

Be positive
Negativism really turns people off.  If you constantly complain about your love life, your weight, clients, lack of clients, tedious tasks, the weather, etc. not only are you bringing more negativity to yourself, you are repelling other people.

WPIC Super Planner Don’t lie, over-embelish or exaggerate
I’m sorry if you haven’t accomplished everything you would have liked to, but there is still lots of time. Work harder, work smarter.  People who know you or your business will know you are lying.  They are not going to be impressed, you will just look foolish.

Don’t Swear
When I was a teenager, my mother used to say that when people swear, they are showing their lack of creativity and ignorance of the english language. Boy, that used to tick me off, but it is actually very true. When someone swears on Twitter or Facebook, I instantly think they are uneducated and unrefined. There are so many descriptive and creative words you can use, there is no need to swear.

Post your accomplishments, but don’t brag
There is a difference between posting and bragging about an accomplishment.  People will be happy for you if you are humble, but they’ll just roll their eyes if you are bragging.  If you post about receiving an award and then say, “I’m running out of space on my wall!” or if you are quoted in the media and then say, “Soon I won’t be able to go out in public without being mauled!”, people will not be impressed.  Let others say it for you.

Keep it PG and PC
Not everyone is going to appreciate your jokes, off-colour humour, broad stereotype comments or inappropriate photos. When it comes to business contacts, they aren’t going to just turn a blind eye. If you are going to make your life an open-book, keep in mind your audience.

Give credit where credit is due
WAY too many people do not quote sources.  Especially on Instagram!  An idea, quote or source should always be linked or mentioned.  By calling attention to those who have helped you, you are showing what a class-act you are.

Always remember
Wedding Professionals are supposed to be the epitome of decorum. You can still be fun, creative, smart and sassy, while being professional.

EventSource Live’s Video of the WPIC Kickoff

EventSource was the Media sponsor for our WPIC Annual Kickoff on February 19, 2015. Check out this amazing video of our super-fun burlesque-themed event! This video was produced by Images Weddings.
For more highlights and details about the event check out our Blog.

WPIC & The Wedding Lounge at CSE Live 2015

WPIC is thrilled to introduce a brand new feature at ‪#‎CSELive2015‬ entitled ‘The Wedding Lounge’ during ‘Canada Meet Week’.

A product of the collaborative efforts of Paras Mehta of Paras Events, Arthur Kerekes of Fusion Events, Gregory Bell of Decor and More, and WPIC. We invite all of you to take the amazing opportunity to visit ‘The Wedding Lounge’ on the trade show floor of CSELive 2015 and get a stylized head shot for your business, meet with other top wedding professionals, and continue to foster the growth of the weddings industry in Canada.

The Wedding Lounge at CSE

The Wedding Professionals Workshop in Calgary

Attention all Wedding Professionals:

It’s time to get your learning on! And you only have 2 days left to register…


The Wedding Professionals Workshop is a boutique-style learning experience taking place at the Hotel Arts in Calgary.

About the Workshop:

For 7 years the producers brought you large International Conferences as “The Wedding Professionals International Conference”, in places like Turks & Caicos and The Bahamas.  Now they have shifted their focus to smaller, more boutique-style workshops.  These workshops are not just theory and fluff.  These are heavy, content-rich, learning experiences with actionable tools and skills to elevate your wedding business.

Of course you will be surrounded by beauty, but more importantly, these seminars are designed to make you dazzle. So Shine on!

wedding pro speakers

Some of the Topics:

  • Indespensible Essentials Necessaty for Dealing with High-Profile Clients
  • Secrets of Success – 8 Business Boosters for Business Owners
  • There is no “I” in Team
  • Everything’s Going Digital, When did my Marketing Message Pixelate?
  • Wedding Trends
  • Destination Wedding Planner Certification

Get more details at

Register now!

How to Host a Great FAM Trip

Palace resorts FAM

WPIC Wedding Planners on a FAM trip with Palace Resorts in Mexico

by Danielle Andrews Sunkel

I have been on many Familiarization (FAM) trips, some good, some great, some so-so. If you are going to go to the time and expense of hosting of FAM trip, you better make it a good one so you will see a return on that investment. The FAM trips that stand out for me, are the ones where I had fun, and had a chance to truly experience the place I was visiting.

What is a FAM (Familiarization) Trip?
Familiarization trips are a great way to get Wedding Planners or Travel Agents to a location so they can experience it and then suggest it to their clients with full confidence that it is the best match for their client’s Destination Wedding.

How does a FAM Trip work?
The invited wedding planners will pay for their transportation to the resort or tourism office’s geographical location, once on the ground the resort or tourism office will cover all costs for the planner (food, accommodation, ground transportation, scheduled activities, etc.)

Tips for hosting a great FAM Trip:

Allow an Authentic Experience.
Your FAM trip attendees want to see the resort on their own. They need to see how the average guest at your hotel is treated. They also need to see the service first-hand and taste the food without it being mass-produced for a dinner party every night. An afternoon and evening at leisure is plenty of time.

Don’t Hide the Locals
You not only want the planners to fall in love with your resort, you want them to fall in love with your location.  Let them experience some of the local life, don’t keep them captive on your resort.

Factor in Fun
All work makes a dull trip. If your resort offers tours or trips, make sure the FAM attendees experience one. If there is a Spa, give them a sampler. Shows or performers onsite, get them to the show.

WPICers were taken on a Catamaran Cruise at Sandals in Jamaica

WPICers were taken on a Catamaran Cruise at Sandals in Jamaica

Don’t exhaust them.
Someone who has been run off their feet is going to lose enthusiasm for your product, fast.

Don’t act like you are doing them a favour.
Your attendees had to take time away from their business, leave their family, hire extra child care, rearrange their lives as well as pay for their costly flights to and from the FAM, so that you could have the opportunity to sell them on your product. Do not lose sight of that.

About to board Bimini Bay's Private Plane in Bahamas

WPIC Wedding Planners about to board Bimini Bay’s private plane in Bahamas

Anatomy of a great FAM trip

Day 1

  • Arrival
  • Time at leisure to enjoy the beach and pool
  • Cocktails
  • Dinner Party
  • Evening at leisure

Day 2

  • Breakfast at leisure
  • 9am- Site tours
  • 1pm- Lunch
  • 2pm- Site tours
  • 4pm- Spa Sampler
  • Cocktails
  • Dinner
  • Evening at leisure
Wedding set-ups at Hard Rock Riviera Maya

Wedding set-ups at Hard Rock Riviera Maya

Day 3

  • Breakfast at Leisure
  • 9am- Site Tours
  • 11am- Mock Wedding
  • 12- Lunch
  • 1pm-Local Adventure
  • Evening at leisure

Day 4

  • Farewell Breakfast
  • Day at leisure
  • Departures

A Wedding Planner’s Tools of the Trade

Nicole Marshallby Nicole Marshall of Beautifully Planned




Everyone has their own “tools of the trade” that they use to do their job the best they can. My TOP 5 tools are:

1. My laptop: I use my laptop daily in so many ways for my business.

  • Show off my portfolio to prospective clients
  • Document EVERY aspect of my client’s events
  • Create my schedules, contact lists and other wedding paperwork
  • File all of my clients emails & attachments in an organized system to access the details quickly
  • All of my behind the scenes work to run my business – blogging, website updates, bookkeeping, etc

dell laptop and blackberry cell phone2. My van: You need to have a large vehicle to transport materials for weddings. I carry several totes to and from my events to be sure I have anything that may be needed PLUS I have the space to transport some items from ceremony to reception.

  • A CD Player if suddenly the DJ has sound issues
  • Long extension cords if more power is needed or someone misjudged the space to the outlets
  • Cleaning supplies to clean the washrooms or silverware – whatever is needed
  • Assortment of candles for “refills”
  • Case of water for the photo shoot
  • Tools: pliers, hammer, screwdriver, nails, screws, you never know what repair may pop up
  • Hair blower, straightener, if there is a hair malfunction
  • And so many more large items so I am covered JUST IN CASE

black van for wedding planner3. Waist pack: I wear this all day, it’s my mini emergency kit that I have at my fingertips, it holds:

  • A bottle of water so I stay hydrated
  • My cell phone that I use to stay in touch with everyone
  • My walkie-talkie (and earpiece) to be in constant communication with my assistant
  • Pens
  • Kleenex
  • Pins – safety pins, boutonniere pins, straight pins, bobby pins
  • Bandaids
  • Tylenol and Advil
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Nail file
  • And usually various items the couple or wedding party has asked me to hold

wedding coordinator's emergency waist pack4. Comfortable flat shoes: These are a necessity as I am on my feet all day from early in the morning until the last event has happened at the wedding. Comfy shoes keep me going!

event planner's comfortable shoes5. Paperwork: This is critical for me to run the day. I am a paper person so I always have the wedding schedule, contracts, contact lists, speeches and my own to-do-list in an organized binder with tabs within arm’s reach. The feeling of physically check marking a completed task is a great feeling! I also make notes all day long so that any timing changes earlier in the day, I am adjusting for them on the fly and I have a record for me to review after the wedding. A personal education tool to keep getting better and better.

Lastly I have my full emergency kit bag which is full of items that may come in handy as you just never know what might happen, but that’s a separate blog post. ;)

Nicole Marshall is a wedding planner. Her fave part of planning is the logistics involved – necessary for a great wedding but boring for most people. In her free time, Nicole loves scheduling (yes its fun for her), camping, cooking and studying the law of attraction alongside her 3 children and adoring husband.

Upcoming Wedding Industry Conferences

Never. Stop. Learning!

As we have said time and again, the Wedding Industry is trend-based, it is ever-changing.  You need to keep up with the industry and the way to do that is by attending industry conferences.

Here are some the upcoming Wedding Industry Conferences:

March 28 & 29, 2015 | Calgary, Canada | The Wedding Professionals Conference
Cost: $399
Focus: Advanced Wedding Education + Bonus Destination Wedding Coordinator Certication Class *WPIC is Speaking 😉 photo Speakers-Calgary_zpsvezswje2.jpg

March 31 2015 | Toronto, Canada | The Business of Weddings
Cost: $614.50
Focus: Symposium for Canadian Wedding Pros

April 14 & 15, 2015 | Mauritius | Destination Wedding Planners Congress
Cost: Undisclosed
Focus: Destination Wedding Planners

June 8-11, 2015 | Riviera Maya, Mexico | Engage!
Cost: $3100
Focus: Luxury Wedding Business Summit


September 14-17, 2015 | Las Vegas, USA | Wedding MBA
Cost: $359
Focus: Marketing for Wedding Professionals *WPIC Is Speaking 😉

September 18, 2015 | Montego Bay, Jamaica | Jamaica Wedding Professionals Conference
Cost: $50
Focus: Tips and Best Practices for Wedding Pros *WPIC is Speaking 😉


November 16-18, 2015 | Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada | The BOSS Retreat
Cost: $1200 (Shared accommodation), $1400 (Private Accommodation)
Focus: Women in the Wedding Industry

December 4-8, 2015 | Riviera Maya, Mexico | Love Mexico
Cost: $195
Focus: Destination Wedding Planners and Travel Agents who specialize in Mexico

How Not to be a Negative Nelly in the Wedding Industry

By: Tracey Manailescu

At some point in time, I think it’s reasonably safe to say that we all have felt self-doubt, jealousy, insecure, and even animosity towards  someone else within the industry.  Not everyone is meant to be best friends, and you may not agree with some others business practices, to each his own. It is also pretty safe to assume, that you have come across instances where you were a little thrown off by a negative comment, rants on social media or have been in attendance of someone bashing another industry peer.

At WPIC inc. we hear about so many of these on a weekly basis.  Whether it is about us, our Alumni, or vendors we know. Sometimes it really hurts, while other times it makes us down right angry. Danielle and I have made it very clear that we will not tolerate or participate in gossip and slander. Heck, we even made it one of our WPIC Code of Ethics, because we feel so strongly about this negative type of behaviour. We expect all of our WPIC Alumni to abide by these ethics. While it is very easy to get into these types of conversations, think about what it looks like to those listening.  Yuck!


“What I am suggesting is that each of us turn from the negativism that permeates our society and look for the remarkable good among those with whom we associate, that we speak of one another’s virtues more than we speak of one another’s faults, that optimism replace pessimism, that our faith exceed our fears. When I was a young man and was prone to speak critically, my father would say: “Cynics do not contribute, skeptics do not create, doubters do not achieve.” Gordon B. Hinckley

Social Media: I have unfollowed or hidden so many people in my newsfeed on Facebook because of negative posts. It’s depressing and makes me feel stressed. When I log into Facebook, I personally want to see happy posts like accomplishments, great photos from recent weddings, funny stories of things that happened to my friends and peers in the course of the day, romantic gestures, new goals and posts about cute things their kids or pets do, etc. You know, things that generally make you smile, and feel good when you see, and read them. Social media is not the place to voice your anger issues, or to trash your significant other. That is what friends, family and loved ones are for.

People tend to be generous when sharing their nonsense, fear, and ignorance. And while they seem quite eager to feed you their negativity, please remember that sometimes the diet we need to be on is a spiritual and emotional one. Be cautious with what you feed your mind and soul. Fuel yourself with positivity and let that fuel propel you into positive action.” Steve Maraboli 

Take the time to Get to Know Others in the Industry: Sometimes, people feel the need to talk badly, and trash others businesses because they just don’t understand what all of the hype is about. Instead of assuming, get out to events and get to know others in the industry. You might be pleasantly surprised to find out that they are just like you, or might have something great to offer you and your business. It might be tips, advice or just a great conversation that can make all of the difference.

The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.”  Wayne Dyer


Set Realistic Goals: Set goals for yourself that are reasonable and can definitely be obtained. It might be creating a new look and feel to your company, getting interviewed in a news segment, newspaper or magazine, getting an image makeover, losing weight, getting published for a wedding or a style shoot, or booking more of your type of clients, getting hired for a destination wedding, going on vacation somewhere you have always dreamed of, attending a conference in another city or country, etc.  Whatever it is, make it a priority. Do something every day, or at least every week to help you obtain those goals. Research companies who specialize in branding, website designers that fit your style and budget, take a course, start saving 10% of your pay-cheques, put together style boards, create a vision board, and go for it!

Spend so much time improving yourself that you have no time left to criticize others.” Norman Vincent Peale

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others:  There is always going to be someone more successful, makes more money, who is smarter, better looking, more creative and more powerful than you. Deal with it! Instead of harbouring negative thoughts, why not come up with ways that you can do better, and be better. You have no idea how hard they struggled to get where they are now. Success comes with hard work and lots of trials and errors along the way.

Comparison is the thief of joy.” Theodore Roosevelt


Pick Your Battles: Sometimes you are put into situations where you need to work with someone you do not get along with.  It could be another member of your team, a vendor, a client’s family member or friend, etc. No one says you need to be best friends, but you do need to be courteous and professional, and put the client’s needs first. Try to put yourself in their shoes. Are they insecure, or think that you are stepping on their toes? Talk it out (in private). It might be something so little, that can be easily fixed. If it really is more, and you will never see eye to eye, then you need to figure out how you can work together and not let it ruin the wedding, event and your reputation. Try not to respond in the heat of the moment, if it’s possible. It usually leads to trouble. Sometimes it is better to just turn the other cheek. It’s sometimes hard to do, but can be worth it in the long run.

“Pick your battles. You don’t have to show up to every argument you’re invited to.” Mandy Hale