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How to Plan a Destination Wedding

Here are some great tips about planning Destination Weddings from our friends Couples Resorts!

Did you know?

As of January 2015, all Couples Resorts on-site Wedding Coordinators will be WPIC Certified.

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WPIC Alumni Claim 15 Canadian Wedding Industry Awards!

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We’d like to congratulate all of our WPIC Alumni who took home a 2014 Wedding Industry Award!

Regional Awards:

Aberta

ENTERTAINMENT: BEST DJ – BEAUFAIR WEDDINGS & ENTERTAINMENT (Adam Dubeau and Eric Fairlie, WPICC 2013)

EVENT DECOR: BEST TABLESCAPE – JOYFOLEY WEDDINGS (Stacey Foley, WPICC 2011)

EVENT DESIGN: BEST EVENT DESIGN – TOTAL BUDGET UNDER $75,000 – JENNIFER BERGMAN WEDDINGS (Jennifer Bergman, WPICC 2008)

EVENT PLANNING : BEST LUXURY EVENT PLANNING – TOTAL BUDGET OVER $75,000 – JENNIFER BERGMAN WEDDINGS (Jennifer Bergman, WPICC 2008)

EVENT PLANNING : BEST EVENT PLANNING – TOTAL BUDGET UNDER $75,000 – JENNIFER BERGMAN WEDDINGS (Jennifer Bergman, WPICC 2008)

 

Manitoba & Saskatchewan

EVENT DECOR: BEST EVENT DECORATOR – RSVP EVENT DESIGN (Crystal Anderson MacLeod, WPICC 2008)

EVENT DESIGN: BEST EVENT DESIGN – TOTAL BUDGET UNDER $75,000 – RSVP EVENT DESIGN (Crystal Anderson MacLeod, WPICC 2008)

EVENT PLANNING : BEST LUXURY EVENT PLANNING – TOTAL BUDGET OVER $75,000 – DIVINE WEDDINGS & EVENTS  (Tammy Ouellet, WPICC 2004)

EVENT PLANNING : BEST EVENT PLANNING – TOTAL BUDGET UNDER $75,000 – DIVINE WEDDINGS & EVENTS (Tammy Ouellet, WPICC 2004)

 

Ontario

CAKES & CONFECTIONERY: BEST CONFECTIONERY DISPLAY/SWEET TABLE – CANDY BY KATIE (Katie Collins, WPICC 2013)

ENTERTAINMENT: BEST DJ – MICHAEL COOMBS ENTERTAINMENT (Michael Coombs, WPICC 2005)

EVENT DESIGN: BEST LUXURY EVENT DESIGN – TOTAL BUDGET OVER $75,000 – MELISSA ANDRE EVENTS (Melissa Andre, WPICC 2010)

FASHION: BEST BRIDAL BOUTIQUE – KLEINFELD HUDSON’S BAY (6 of the Kleinfeld Consultants are WPICC 2014)

VENUES: BEST BRIDAL SUITE – THE ESTATES OF SUNNYBROOK (The Wedding team at Estates of Sunnybrook is WPICC 2012 & 2013)

 

Overall National Winners

ENTERTAINMENT: BEST DJ – MICHAEL COOMBS ENTERTAINMENT (Michael Coombs, WPICC 2005)

WPIC Certified Canada

 

Showing Some Love for “Rent Frock Repeat”

Rent Frock Repeat has been around since 2010, and many of us WPIC Alumni have used their services to rent an amazing designer dress for events over the years. We thought since its the holidays, why not show an example of how wonderful it really can be. Weddings, conferences and networking events are so much more enjoyable when you feel great in what you are wearing. Instead of spending a fortune, rent one! -Tracey Manailescu

RFR Banner Purple

Guest blogger Miranda Marie of Rent Frock Repeat, has shared some tips to take a beautiful dress from daytime to evening.

Working Woman Style: Shira Dusty Rose Button Down Fit And Flare Dress

www.wpic.ca

Shira Dusty Rose Button Down Fit And Flare Dress

Okay, I don’t know about you, but I am crazy for this Shira Dusty Rose Button Down Fit and Flare Dress. The perfect length and flare style make it a great work piece. However, the colour and texture give this dress an extra “va va voom”.

Today, I am going to show you how to take this lovely Shira Dusty Rose Button Down Fit and Flare dress from work day all the way to evening wear. How perfect? One dress and numerous ways to frock it!

For a daytime look, this dress would be perfect for the working woman style. To make it more office appropriate consider the following:

Day Time Look

www.wpic.ca

 

  • Unbutton the Shira Dusty Rose Button Down Fit and Flare Dress and wear with a white simple tank underneath (the one pictured is from American Eagle)
  • Add simple black booties or brown flats, like the Nine West and Tory Burchsamples pictured. The booties and flats give it a more of a more clean and professional look to the Shira Dusty Rose Button Down Fit and Flare Dress.
  • A dainty necklace, like this one from Aldo, adds some sparkle to the Shira Dusty Rose Button Down Fit and Flare Dress.
  • Lastly, a classic purse, similar to this Kate Spade bag completes the day time look with the cream and black block colouring.

This Shira Dusty Rose Button Down Fit and Flare Dress is so special because it can transition into evening so well. The colour makes a beautiful statement and is very easy to accessorize with. For the evening look:

Evening Look

Evening Look

 

  • Nude pumps, similar to the Steve Madden pair pictured compliments the Shira Dusty Rose Button Down Fit and Flare Dress perfectly, and the pointed toe of the shoe enhances the elegance and elongates the leg.
  • A simple belt with small gold detailing adds shape and detail to the Shira Dusty Rose Button Down Fit and Flare Dress. This one is fromClub Monaco .
  • Button up the Shira Dusty Rose Button Down Fit and Flare Dress all the way and have a bold necklace lay atop the dress for a stylish statement, similar to this one from Aldo.
  • Finally, add in a glittery, fun clutch, like this Kate Spade purse, and you have the perfect evening time ensemble.

There you have it ladies! One fabulous Shira Dusty Rose Button Down Fit and Flare Dress designer dress, and two amazing ways to frock it!

Happy Frocking,

Miranda Marie

 

Invest in Yourself if You Want Others to Invest in You

Alan-Berg-CSP-Photo-close-upThis article was written and shared with permission, by our talented and inspiring wedding industry friend, speaker and marketing guru, Alan Berg, CSP

 

 

 

www.wpic.ca

I was giving a presentation recently and I used the phrase “Invest in yourself if you want others to invest in you”. In that case I was referring to your websites, branding, collateral marketing (business cards, brochures, etc.) and to your sales skills. Before you can expect your target clientele to invest their hard-earned money with you, especially for their once-in-a-lifetime wedding, you have to invest your time and money into earning their business.

Too often I meet someone who’s complaining that they’re not getting the clientele they’d like (usually one that will spend more for their services). However, that same company usually isn’t doing the things they need to attract, sell and service that same clientele. You see other businesses getting the clients you want, but what you don’t usually see are the behind the scenes things that got them where they are.

Outliers

In Malcolm Gladwell’s book, “Outliers”, he speaks about a threshold of 10,000 hours that separates the more proficient and successful people from the rest. Whether it’s Bill Gates having 10,000 hours of computer programming time before he started Microsoft, or Yo-Yo Ma playing and practicing the cello more than 10,000 hours, the common thread is that opportunity comes when talent and opportunity collide. Of course Yo-Yo Ma has more talent than most cellists, but there are others who will never realize their potential because they’re not willing to put in the time.

Step 1: Identify the problem

I was writing this on a recent flight and it got a little longer than my regular articles, so, in this article I’m going to shine a light on the problem. Then, in my next article I’ll give you specifics and ideas on how you can choose to solve the problem you see. Let me give you the synopsis here.

  • Investing in yourself involves time and/or money. There are no free rides. When you see another business with a better website, better branding, or better sales skills, they’ve taken steps to get there. Just as you work to improve your technical skills, you need to improve your business skills.
  • What’s the first impression you’re trying to make? You can tell when someone has made their own website or designed their own business cards, postcards, etc. Others can tell when you do the same.
  • You never know from where you’re next inspiration will come. Opening your eyes to ideas outside your industry can spark ideas that you can adapt to what you do. If you only ever listen to the same voices you’ll only hear the same things. That’s why I love listening and reading about ideas that are outside my current skill set.
  • They can’t hire you if they don’t know you exist. Investing in better ad placement and bridal show booth size and placement often gets you a better return on your investment. You still need a great ad or booth design, and then sales and marketing to take the next steps, but those, too, are investments.
  • Networking is first about showing up. Showing up sporadically to networking events, with a handful of business cards isn’t going to get you a flood of referrals. People refer people they know and trust.
  • You can’t reap the benefits if you don’t first make the investment. Did I say there are no free rides? It’s worth repeating.

What we can learn from a DIY wedding

I’ve rarely met a wedding or event professional who likes the idea of engaged couples doing some of their wedding services themselves (or having friends or relatives do them). Those are usually referred to as the DIY (do-it-yourself) bride or groom. It’s not an entirely accurate phrase as they’re not doing everything themselves, only parts of their wedding. For some it’s the invitations or decorations, while for others it’s the music, photography, video or planning.

Wedding and event pros view those DIY couples as taking business away from them, but the truth is that if they don’t have the money, or more importantly they don’t see the value in hiring you, they’re not your customer and they never were. But I’m getting a little off topic here.

Self-inflicted damage

The reason you want them to hire you is because you’re the expert. You’re the one who has invested the time, money and effort to learn your service and earn the right to charge for the value you provide. If you agree with my assertion then you should also agree that it’s somewhat hypocritical to think that you can do many of the professional services your business needs better than a professional.

What are you really good at?

Do you have a degree in graphic design? Have you studied website creation and maintenance? Are you a sales and marketing expert? Some of you will answer yes to one or more of those questions, but you’ll be in the minority. Chances are you got into your business because you are skilled at something other than business, or website design, or marketing. Being a fantastic chef doesn’t qualify you to design a great business card. Being an award-winning photographer, videographer, band or DJ doesn’t qualify you to make an effective website.

The smart businesses hire to their weaknesses.

If you surround yourself with people who are good at what you’re good at, you’re just amplifying your weaknesses. Having more wedding officiants on your team won’t help you unless you are already overwhelmed with leads that you have the skills to close. Hiring more floral decorators won’t help you unless you have more work that your current designers can handle. For most wedding and event pros your inventory is time. You can only do so many weddings or events at one time. For others it’s a combination of time and physical assets. If you’re a venue, you have a limited number of rooms. If you’re a DJ you have a limited number of equipment setups.

Which came first?

If you want to expand the number of weddings or events you do, where do you start? Do you first hire more DJ’s and buy more equipment? Or, do you first invest in the infrastructure to market, sell and service those additional weddings and events? You’re going to have to do both, eventually, but especially given the longer lead time for a wedding, I would first invest in a better website, then better marketing, advertising and branding, and then, when you see that it’s working the way you want, buy more equipment and hire more people.

Go big, or go home

When I started my speaking and consulting business I bought a new iPad. The Apple website said they would engrave something on it at no extra charge. I thought for a while about it, pondering over whether to put my name or company (too hard to sell or give away later), or some other phrase. Then, it came to me. Big things come to those who think big, so I had them engrave “Go big, or go home” on the back. Practice what you preach. Don’t just talk about being the best. Back it up by taking steps to get there.

Don’t expect immediate results

There are very few switches you can flip to get instant results. That’s tough-love for a society that treasures instant gratification. You can’t make a great website in a day. You can’t learn a new skill in a day. Buying better online ad placement might help you get more clicks to your website right away, but if you haven’t already improved your website, you’ll be wasting those impressions. Don’t be discouraged. Decide what you want and then make a roadmap to get there.

It’s not for me to say what’s right for you. I help my clients achieve their goals, just as you help yours have their vision of their perfect wedding. Thanks for taking your time towards being the best you that you can be. In my next article I’ll delve a little deeper into some of the things you can do, to invest your time and/or money, to move your business in whatever direction you’d like.

alan berg

 

Wedding Show Case Study and Tips for Making it Successful

Amanda
By Amanda Douglas, WPICC of Amanda Douglas Events

Our Bridal Show Design

With this bridal showcase, myself and my creative partners took on a different approach then the norm (or what’s normal on our area) and wanted to put together two different looks and price points for the brides attending.  We know that each bride comes with a different set of expectations, budget, and of course style, so we wanted to bring together one colour palette done in two very different ways.

For the high-end look we decided to go with dark rich tones that could be translated into summer, spring, winter or, fall (if done right). We went big (but not high) with the centerpieces and decided to go with the ever popular rectangular table. We decided to add tones of gold, bronze, rose gold, lots for purple, lush greenery and touches of beautiful baby pink and fuchsia.

For the low-end table we decided to take the same colour palette but do it in a lighter theme. We went with a light beautiful champagne matte satin tablecloth, lighter dishes (similar to what would come standard with any venue), but still running with the touches of gold, lots of beautiful purple tones, more whites and some greenery. You’ll notice that for this table we went with the more traditional roundtable, which most venues have standard. Some venues you have to pay to bring in rectangular tables, or extra if you want to do square tables (as it takes two rectangular tables put together to make a square). Usually this requires getting more linens as well, because most companies order to size the standard tables.  We went with lower simpler arrangements on this table, but tried to bulk up the table and spread the theme throughout with the candles, small decor pieces, and of course the fun wooden table number. AD Menue and table AD Menue AD Model HE AD HE Model and florals   AD HE Chair decor

Pricing (high end table):

Florals: High table: floral centerpieces ($350), chair swags ($80/pair), & candles (rental $2.50 each) =$450 per table
Stationery: Gold Foil Invitation – $5.75 Reply Card & Envelope (with address label) – $2.40 Accommodations Card – $1.50 Outer Envelope (with printed addresses) – $2.50 Custom Wax Seal – $2.75 Ceremony Program – $3.25 Menu – $1.50 Table Number (hexagon shape on a dowel) – $6 Place Card (with gold leaf detail) – $3.50 Total Cost for Stationery (based on a quantity of 100) = $2,375

AD Large menu AD LE table AD LE TTable and Chair AD LE florals up close AD LE Model

Pricing (low end table):

Florals: Low table: floral centerpieces ($150), chair swags ($100/table) & candles (rental $2.50 each)= $275 per table
Bridal bouquets (model) $250, wax flower $125, roses $200)
Stationery: Invitation – $2.50 Reply Card & Envelope (with address label) – $2.35 Save-the-Date Postcard – $1.75 Premium Outer Envelope (with printed addresses) – $2.20 Painted Envelope Liner – $1.75 Menu – $1.50 Wooden Table Number (with gold leaf detail) – $9
Total Cost for Stationery (based on a quantity of 100) = $1,295 OR Substitute the premium envelopes for the complimentary white and omit the envelope liner and address printing for a total cost of $830.

Vendors:

Planning/DesignAmanda Douglas Events
Floral DesignOak & Lily 
StationeryRobin Egg Blue Design 
Hair – Randi
MakeupTwo Chicks & a Bag of Makeup 
DressBliss Bridal 
LightingEvent Light 
Linens & ChairsPlanned Perfectly
Model – Emily Belbas
PhotographyWinnipeg Wedding Photography Collective

The Pros and Cons of Being in a Wedding Show:
I think it’s safe to say that everybody knows being in the wedding show is a ton of work.

There’s the expense of paying for your booth, and the design of the booth, and of course all of the stationery, brochures, and signage you need to get. Not to mention, we all want a new outfit for such a special occasion. But even with all that expense, I definitely wouldn’t list that as a negative or con.

A good bridal show is always an investment, not an expense. One thing to look at is what are your goals going into a wedding show? Are you doing it simply for brand recognition; maybe you’re new in the industry and you just simply need to get your name out there? Or are you going in it to book directly from that show? The starting point would be establishing what you want to get out of the show. That will help you hugely in deciding what show is right for you and how big you should go with your booth. If you’re like me, there are multiple different shows you can pick from in your area. I would start looking at the larger wedding shows, and maybe for your first year of business simply just attending the show to see what it’s like.

Pay attention to what the brides around you are doing, which booths/vendors they’re engaging with, and the overall feel, atmosphere, and stress level in the show. If you’re noticing a lot of people but not much engagement and your goal is to book off of the show, maybe that particular show isn’t the right one for you. In any case I would always suggest attending a few shows before deciding which one you want to be a part of. It really helps to see what the standard is, who sets the bar and how high, and it really gets your creative juices going on what you might want to do in your booth and how you want it to look when the time comes.

There are definitely many more pros than cons to being in a wedding show, BUT you need to make sure you’re utilizing the show, networking opportunities, and marketing experience at your disposal. Being in a wedding show is a great place to get your name out there, to meet new vendors, and maybe put a face to the name of the vendors that you’ve heard of many times.

Definitely plan a little bit of time, get somebody to watch your booth, and go meet some people that you’ve been meaning to meet.  Also, make sure that you utilize the vendor and bridal email lists that most wedding shows offer you. It’s a great way to get your name in front of the brides one more time.

Every time I’m in a wedding show I’m definitely inspired, challenged, and want to build more with my company. You could get really discouraged seeing that maybe you’re not at the place as some other vendors are, but try taking the other angle. Try and focus on what you could do more, what you could design better, put together more professionally, and simply take it as a learning experience. That is a huge pro in putting yourself out there and being in a wedding show.

We all see those TV shows of vivacious, outgoing, and personable wedding planners. Not all of us started out that way, in fact most of us don’t. I myself am an introvert by nature, so being bubbly and outgoing is something that I’ve had to work on over many years.

Being in a wedding show is also a great pushing point to get you outside your comfort zone. Nobody likes doing it, but it’s something that we all need to do.

After going to wedding shows, looking at all the other vendors’ booths, now we highly suggest getting down to the nitty-gritty. Maybe you’re not ready to invest that money into your company yet, or maybe you just missed it by a little bit and all of the deadlines have passed. It’s not too late to start thinking about what you could do for next year.

Take some time to challenge yourself and create an inspiration board of a booth that you would create if you had the chance.  Maybe have a few really great ideas, get them down on paper, do some drawings, and get your creative juices going so that when the opportunity comes up and you find the right show for you, you’re ready to move. Maybe by that time your designs are a little out of date, and not in trend anymore. That’s okay because you have the wheels greased and you’re ready to go. Creating something new will be that much easier.

On a closing note, it’s important to remember that you’re not in it alone. There are many vendors that want to work with planners because usually planners are the ones that create the most beautiful booths.  Approach local vendors in your area that you know can accomplish your style, design, and esthetic and that you, in turn can represent well. In a lot of cases many companies will donate their services and supplies to be a part of your booth. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and approach different people, but be sure you go about it in a professional way; with an inspiration board and ideas in hand. This is a great way, when starting out, to get your name out there and show that you mean business.

Creating your workspace: A Guide to Wedding Planners’ Offices

Source: Better Homes & Gardens (click photo for link)

Source: Better Homes & Gardens (click for link)

by Danielle Andrews Sunkel

As Wedding Planners we do not have a need for commercial office space, but we do need a work space.  Whether you work from home or have a commercial space, your office says a lot about you, your style and your business.

Your office should be very personal to you and a glimpse into your style.  You want to attract like-minded clients, so let them see what you are about.

Fabulous office of Weddings and the City.  Photo by KristinVining.com

Source: Fabulous office of Weddings and the City. Photo by KristinVining.com

Must-haves for your office space include:

  • a computer
  • filing system
  • inspirational reading
  • a desk and comfortable chair
Source: Holly Mathison Interiors (click photo for link)

Source: Holly Mathison Interiors (click photo for link)

In addition to the above, if you are having clients into your workspace than there are certain must-haves:

  • a consultation area
  • seating for yourself and at least two others
Source: Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs

Source: Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs (click photo for link)

You don’t want to scare away potential clients by an allergic reaction, so here are some things to keep out of your office:

  • pets
  • strong smells (multiple scented candles, air fresheners, etc)
  • cigarettes or other smoking paraphernalia
Source: Kendra Scott's Office (click photo for link)

Source: Kendra Scott’s Office (click photo for link)

Let your personality shine.  Have fun creating your space, you are going to spend a lot of time in there!

Need some more gorgeous inspiration, or just want some wedding office eye candy?  I’ve compiled a Pinterest board of Wedding Office Inspiration for you here:

http://www.pinterest.com/wpicinc/wedding-offices/

5 Things Business Owners Need to do for Themselves Right Now!

confident young professional

by Danielle Andrews Sunkel

Owning your own business is rewarding, challenging, exciting, scary, liberating and confusing. We often get caught up in what we need to do for our clients, our families and our business, but forget about things we need to do to protect ourselves or set up ourselves for the future.  We tend to only think about the here and now, and forget the ultimate goal is to build a successful buisness and career for the rest of our working lives.

Whether you have owned your business for 5 months or 5 years, here are 5 things you need to do for yourself right now:

1. Start an RRSP

You have to plan for your retirement.  Without an RRSP you will have NO money saved for your retirement.  I’m sorry to break it to you, you probably aren’t going to win the lottery and no one will buy your business for $5 million.

2. Get General Liability Insurance with an E & O Policy

You need to protect yourself and your business. Couples are getting way more litigious and if something happens at a wedding, it is not just the couple who sues, it is all of their guests too! Get insurance now. Now!

3. Start Deducting Taxes from your Income

You need to deduct at least 20-30% of all your income to remit in personal taxes at the end of the year.  It’s fun having all the funds your successful business earns, it is awful to receive a $25,000 tax bill!  Deduct the proper taxes from every single payment you receive from clients and thank me later.

4. Create a Business Plan

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”  What are your goals, what are you planning to achieve, how do you define success?  Without a business plan, you will not have a road map for your business. If you don’t set goals, and have a plan to achieve those goals you are kind of like a chicken with it’s head cut off, you have no direction.

5. Take care of You

Book that physical you have been putting off.  Start that fitness regimen.  Start eating healthier.  You are your business and your business is you, so you need to be healthy and strong to run your business properly.

What would you add to this list? 

Photo by Avenue-Photo.com

Photo by Avenue-Photo.com

Danielle Andrews Sunkel is the Co-Founder of WPIC Inc. and the owner of The Wedding Planners since 2000. She has also been the Co-Producer of The Wedding Professionals Workshops since 2005. She has coordinated weddings, events and conferences in Canada, USA, Mexico, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Barbados, The Bahamas, Turks & Caicos, Ireland and Rome.

She is a regular guest expert on television, radio, wedding magazines and in newspapers. Danielle also speaks at several Wedding and Event Industry Conferences each year.

Is the Wedding Planner Market Over-Saturated?

Photo by Avenue-Photo.com

Photo by Avenue-Photo.com

by Danielle Andrews Sunkel

A statement I keep hearing people say is, “The wedding market is so over-saturated!”

Every market has more people interested in it than there are positions.  How many people do you know looking for teaching positions?  I know three people who have waited multiple years and still don’t have a full-time teaching position.  Lawyers, doctors, nurses, construction workers, human resource managers, social workers, everyone is looking for work.  How about business?  We recently posted a position for an Administrative Assistant and received 427 resumes in 5 days. 427! Over 100 of these people had Masters Degrees.

In the grand scheme of things, no the wedding market is not over-saturated.  There a lot of people trying to enter the wedding market, but when they see how much work and determination it takes, they quickly leave.  Those with rose-colored glasses thinking this is a “fun” job are going to quickly leave.  Those who enter because they see weddings as a way to make quick money, are going to quickly leave.  It takes someone with a true love of people, business savvy, a willingness to continually learn, and openess to upgrade their skills, to succeed in this business.  Those with the true hearts will stay and they will succeed.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the next 10 years there will be a 44% increase in the number of event planning jobs.  The average wedding planner earns $46, 020, the top earners make $78, 530 and the lowest earners make $27, 410.

So no Virginia, the market is not over-saturated. Stop worrying about everyone else and start working your business.

How to Flip a Room in One Hour

Aside from all of the amazing details that need to be pulled together leading up to and on a wedding day, nothing can be more stressful (or exciting!) as ‘The Flip’. Changing a room from Ceremony to Reception for 165 guests in just one hour is not for the faint of heart. It takes organization, planning, preparation, and manpower.

Recently, Jennifer Maxwell, WPICC, had the pleasure of participating in just such a flip at the King Edward Hotel – something Catering Sales Manager, Sarah Savolainen, WPICC, is no stranger to. This type of room flip happens all the time, but Jennifer knows that not everyone is privy to the mastery it takes to coordinate a flip with the type of ease that Sarah and her staff demonstrated. So she filmed it.

With tripod up and iPhone set in time-lapse mode, the entire flip was captured not only for the bride and groom to see, but for others to gain a sense of appreciation and respect for what it takes to create a new and magical setting in just one hour.

The lesson? Always work with professionals. They know what it really takes to manage the task at hand, with ease and grace, all while making it look seamless.

Jennifer Maxwell WPICCJennifer Maxwell, of The Wedding Coach, has been a WPIC certified wedding planner since 2007. Her love of the creative and collaborative process (not to mention all the pretty!), has created a natural fit for her wedding planning business.

More specifically, Jennifer enjoys the strategic planning side for couples (timelines, checklist, schedules and more), and has recently been sharing her templates with new planners, which – less face it, is not every planner’s favourite part.

 

Defining the Role of the Wedding Coordinator

Danielle Deebankby Danielle Deebank, WPICC of Dreamstyle Weddings

I’m often surprised at the reaction I get when I explain what I actually do to couples, vendors and any industry professional for that matter. There are a lot of planners and coordinators around, and although some of the structure is similar throughout our companies, there are varying levels of service provided, and that’s ok. We all have a choice in how we operate. But it’s no wonder clients tend to be a little confused with our role.

As business owners it’s our responsibility to educate our clients and vendors on what roles we play. There are many different price points and many different levels of service. I have had many experiences where there may be some resistance from other vendors that are used to playing a particular role throughout a wedding day; and have heard many stories of coordinators that stand in a corner just watching the timing for the day. Put the clipboard down every once in a while! Our job is being an advocate for our clients, it’s doing the little tasks that they shouldn’t have to do themselves, it’s making the couple and their families feel less overwhelmed because the details are taking care of. Oh the stories I could tell of the unexpected weird things that I have had to do!!

Educating the client:
Every client has a different need and a different expectation of us. It’s our job to manage those expectations. From the beginning your client should have a clear definition of what you do/don’t do. Often times it’s easier to lay out the “don’t do” items, because once their wedding day hits we naturally just do whatever is needed to make their day perfect.

The most laid back couple may think it’s not a big deal if something doesn’t happen quite as planned, but you add up all the little things and that will quickly change. These couples may be the same one thinking they don’t need a coordinator but when situations arise you can guarantee that they are probably re-thinking that. By educating everyone on what we do it allows potential clients to see value in our services.

When we start asking the right questions and filling in the gaps couples quickly see how we can help.

www.wpic.ca

Educating the vendors:
This can be challenging! Some vendors have never worked with a planner/coordination before; others may have had an unpleasant experience. Regardless, we have to remember that our clients chose to have us play this role. We are the voice of our client on wedding day. It’s our job to ensure timing is kept, details are taken care of and vendors are also meeting our client’s expectations. There should never be resistance between your vendors. We need to create a wedding team, we were all hired with the same goal in mind, to make their wedding day unforgettable.

Educating the industry not only clearly defines our roles but working with the right vendors can expand your network and lead to a successful business. Using this team of industry professionals not only makes your job a little smoother on wedding day but also ensure that you have a team that will work well together and create and am amazing unforgettable stress free day for your clients.