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The 5 Most Popular Wedding Flowers for 2015

2015 wedding flowers

Photo Source: weddingideasmag.com

by Danielle Andrews Sunkel

The 2015 Wedding Season is just starting to pick up steam and one thing is certain, big, frilly blooms are everywhere!

Here are the most popular flowers we are seeing this season:

Hydrangeas

Always a wedding favourite, hydrangeas come in several colours and just a couple of these blooms make a big impact.

Photo: JCrew.com

Photo: JCrew.com

Garden Roses

Not your standard roses, garden roses are large and frilly.  My favourite is the Juliet, David Austin rose.

juliet rose bouquet

Photo Source: DavidAustinRoses.com

Peonies

Whether tight egg-shaped or in full bloom, these beauties make a dramatic, yet feminine statement.

Photo Source: OneWed.com

Photo Source: OneWed.com

Succulents

A wedding favourite for the past few years, these babies aren’t going anywhere.

Photo by nbarrettphotography.com

Photo by nbarrettphotography.com

Dahlias

Once a source of food & medicine to the indigenous Aztec peoples, these pointy blooms come in every colour of the rainbow. A single bloom provides a ton of impact.

Photo by rebecca-arthurs.com

Photo by rebecca-arthurs.com

 

10 Ways to Build a Great Relationship with your Clients’ Wedding Planner (without spending any money)

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by Jennifer Borgh, WPICC, DWC of Jennifer Borgh Events

  1. Always give the Wedding Planner credit for planning the wedding or coordinating the wedding when posting videos and photos of the wedding
  2. Make the Wedding Planner shine with her/his clients. Go above and beyond to make the clients happy
  3. Never argue in front of clients. Even if there is a difference in opinion work it out privately.
  4. Send them a referral. If you love working with this Wedding Planner, then try and reciprocate the referrals
  5. Throw in something extra for clients that book a Wedding Planner. We all know that working with a good Wedding Planner makes everyone’s job easier and the event run smoother, so why not reward the clients who value this service?
  6. Always remember that you are a representation of the Wedding Planner who referred you. From the way you dress, to the way you speak with the clients.
  7. Focus on building a relationship with the Wedding Planner, instead of desperate attempts to promote your company such as signage at weddings or handing out business cards.
  8. Speak highly of the Wedding Planner. Include them in the thank you’s any chance you can. If you genuinely love working with this Wedding Planner then let it show.
  9. Respect a Wedding Planner’s other vendors. Even if you sell Décor + taxi service then promote and sell what you have been asked to sell and nothing more.
  10. Communicate with your Wedding Planner. We want our vendors to be happy and love working with us too! We are open to any changes that make things work out better for our clients.

If a Wedding Planner loves working with you then you will have more clients than you can handle.

About Jennifer Borgh:

Specializing in destination weddings in Jamaica, Jennifer Borgh with her team of exceptional assistants and vendor connections ensure every single detail of your wedding is taken care of. Jennifer Borgh Events is a boutique planning company and doesn’t overbook. Jennifer Borgh plans weddings and honeymoons FULL time and is therefore available when you need her!

Her extensive background in events has taken her all across the Caribbean. Being Certified by The Wedding Planners Institute of Canada, Jamaica Tourist Board, Sandals and Travel Industry Council of Ontario leaves destination wedding parties completely worry-free in her capable hands.

Keeping Your Sanity During Wedding Season

www.wpic.ca

Photo:
www.avenue-photo.com

 

By: Tracey Manailescu

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Typically wedding season is at it’s best from May-October.  All of the months meeting with clients and vendors prepping, organizing, and planning has come to this. Hopefully you are organized, and have kept client files to keep everything in order so that you can focus on the next steps. Depending on how many clients you, and your company, have taken on for the season can really make a difference in how the next several months are going to play out for you.

Some things that I have learned over the years:

You Are Not Alone. Since you are WPIC certified (you’re not?  Hmmm. What are you waiting for?) you have access to over 5000 wedding professionals in your WPIC Alumni Association from all over the world who have been there, and done that.  Ask questions, ask for advice.  Get together for coffee, or attend a WPIC get together (they always have professional development in mind). Find out what has worked best with your peers in similar situations. Need another assistant at the wedding? Well then you know where to go.

Some of the most caring and compassionate people that I have ever met, are in my WPIC family. Thank you for being there to listen, to offer tips, teach me new ways of doing things,  and to show support.  It’s an incredible feeling to know that you have my back.

Life doesn’t stand still for anyone. My biggest regret to date, is how much time I missed with my daughter when she was little before she went to school.  I was too busy focusing on clients, their weddings, and the growth of WPIC.  I can’t go back in time to fix this, but I can certainly make sure that I don’t make the same mistakes again. There is nothing more important to me than my family.  Nothing. Everything I do, and every decison that I make, is with them in mind.

As wedding professionals, we are invited to so many different events, grand openings, FAM trips, vendor appreciation nights, dinners and conferences etc.  While I consider myself extremely fortunate (believe me, I really do), there has to be a time to stop and think about is this something that I need to go to,or be a part of,  instead of just want to? That is why I made the decison to only take on what I can handle.  For me, I will only take on 2-3 wedding clients a year.  This way my couples are getting the best of me with my time and energy, and in return, I  am giving them the best that I can, too.

smell the roses

Stop and Smell the Roses: Take time to just breathe, and take in the beauty all around you. Lilacs are out in full force right now. They are my absolute hands down, favourite smelling flower in the world! I was driving to work last week and literally pulled over, and got out of my car to walk up and smell them on someone’s front lawn. It sounds so cheesy but it put a huge smile on my face.

When is the last time you went to the gym, went to a movie, went for a girls night out, had coffee with a friend, or went on a date night with your better half?  If you are just too busy, then maybe it’s time to re-evaluate, and think about your priorities.

Get Better Organizational Systems: There are so many great apps, calendars, programs and sytems to make your life easier. (Remember to keep your receipts, and claim the expenses on your taxes.) They make your work life easier and better for your clients. Need skills in a specific area?  There are so many webinars, seminars, self-help books, night classes and online classes available to you. Ask around, or just google it!

Photo from: The Inspired Room

Photo from: The Inspired Room

Make Your Office Space Yours: Make your office space yours, by making it visually appealing to you. Buy a new desk, chair, computer or shelving units that suit your style. Get some new file folders, binders, pens. Love that new blinged out tape dispenser and pair of scissors? Get them.  When things are organized around you, its proven that you feel more relaxed and calm.

It can be as simple as decluttering. Clean out your office space.  I just did this. How much crap can one person have? It’s kind of embarrassing to think of all of the things I had in my drawers and shelves that I thought I needed at the time. (I threw away 3 garbage bags, by the way.) I am amazed at how much more room I have and how much cleaner it looks. I had a row of outdated photos in frames on top of my desk that eerily reminded me of my grandmother’s house. What the hell was I thinking? We have had our office for 5 years, and I haven’t changed them up.

I went to Indigo last week and got so wrapped up in all of the amazing stuff that was available.  It took me 2o minutes to decide on a mug and a journal.  For real!  There are so many choices to make your space your own.

time management

Time Management: This is a biggie.  You know all of that time that gets wasted when you start surfing Pinterest and instagram or Facebook? Why not dedicate certain amounts of time to social media, writing blogs, researching vendors, working on client files, etc? You will be amazed at how blocking off time during your day for certain activities helps keep you on track. I am always so surprised when I see how much time I have spent looking at pretty table tops, florals and ideas for weddings when I don’t keep track of it. Ughhh…

I hope you all have a FABULOUS wedding season!

Do you have any tips and tricks that have worked for you over the years?  Please share in the comments section below.

A Recap of the Wedding Professionals Conference in Calgary

Attendees of Weddign Professioanls Conference in Calgary

by Kaley Campbell, WPIC Office Manager

Hotel_Arts_2

The Hotel Arts is one of the most stunningly edgy hotels in all of Calgary, and of course this was the perfect choice for Danielle and Tracey to host the Wedding Professionals Workshop. This two day workshop was not the average workshop, this workshop targeted Alberta’s finest wedding professionals. The room glittered with the stunning décor from Alberta Event Design Studio, and the classic beauty set the scene for the educational experience about to take place.

(Photos taken by f8 Photography)

Wedding Conference Swag bag

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Day one started off with a bang. Alberta’s own Lynn Fletcher gave a step by step breakdown of a high end luxury wedding planned by her and her team. Lynn took us through the nitty-gritty details, not sparing the uncomfortable happenings which occurred during the high profile event. This was an AMAZING learning opportunity for new planners who might not be familiar with all the handlings of day-of coordination. It also was fantastic for the majority of wedding planners, who might not have had the experience with dealing with multi-million dollar events. Lynn Fletcher dazzled us while she educated us.

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Lynn Fletcher

Next up was Bernard Callebaut. Bernard is an outstanding chocolatier with such a courageous story in the ups and downs of business. Bernard told his story from the ground up, how he became who he is now. His story dipped into his time on “Dragons Den”, and finding his new identity under his new brand of “Papa Chocolat”. For anyone owning their own business, or considering owning their own business, Bernard’s session really showed the challenges one may face, especially in the Calgary area.

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Mary Swaffield, of ME & Co, packed in eight of her very own “business boosters”- educating everyone from experience. Mary spoke of networking, finances, technology, and personal “do’s and don’ts” out on the field. Mary is so passionate and driven about the Wedding Industry, and it transferred seamlessly into her seminar.

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We had a spectacular lunch!

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Next, Rhonda Couchigian was up. Rhonda Couchigian, founder of Rayce PR and Marketing, flew in from her firm in Las Angeles to share her knowledge in Marketing and PR within the Wedding Planning Industry. This was an intense session with so much fantastic information and tools shared to all of the attendees of the Wedding Planners Workshop. There wasn’t an empty notepad in the room.

Rhonda Couchigian of Rayce PR Ashley Morton at WPIC Wedding Pro Workshop

Rhonda Couchigian

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Following Rhonda, the fabulous Diann Valentine was up to speak. Diann Valentine is a wedding and event interior designer, author, TV host, speaker, and more. This inspirational, successful, business woman got up and showed what it takes to not only book the luxury client, but to sustain a business of luxury clientele. When Diann speaks, everyone listens. She is a power house in this industry and leads by example.

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Last but not least, two of my personal favorite business women in the Wedding Industry got up to speak about the (shocking!) wedding trends of 2015. Danielle Andrews Sunkel and Tracey Manailescu, co-owners of WPIC and the producers of the Wedding Professionals Workshop, put together the perfect closer to the day. They spoke about the trends that are happening around the world. These trends not only were trends that a lot of us have never heard of, there were trends that made majority of us gasp out loud. Outrageous trends that both Dani and Tracey have seen in person. I loved it.

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Day two of the Wedding Professionals Workshop was all about Destination Wedding Planning. Danielle and Tracey had Monica Caesar, the owner of Aisle Plan Your Day, come in to teach the very first live rendition of WPIC’s Destination Wedding Course for both the Wedding Planning professionals and Travel Agents. The DWS/DWC course has only been offered online prior to this day, so it was brand new concept for everyone. Monica’s expertise and absolutely wonderful teaching methods left us all feeling filled with knowledge and the drive to dive into this field. We were also all dazzled by our guest speaker, Jaime Valdes-Riench, who is both a seasoned Travel Agent and Destination Wedding Specialist. Jaime spoke about all of the little details of partnerships between Planners and Travel Agents, and some of the key points you need to look for in the industry.

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Both days of the Wedding Professionals Workshop brought amazing business professionals from all different fields of the Wedding Industry together, to learn more and to share experiences. Thank you to all participants, it was absolutely lovely meeting all of you and I hope to see you again at an upcoming event or workshop!

WPIC Alumni Winners of 2015 Canadian Event Industry & Readers’ Choice Awards!

CSE star awards

Congratulations to our talented Alumni!

The Canadian Event Industry Awards are celebrating their 19th year.  This year’s winners were announced live at the Star Awards Gala on April 16, 2015 at Daniels Spectrum in Toronto. Winners were selected from hundreds of submitted entries and judged by a panel of 21 industry experts from across North America.

Canadian Event Industry Award Winners:

Best Entertainment Production
A2D2 Inc., Toronto, ON

Best Wedding Creative
RSVP Event Design, Saskatoon, SK

Best Wedding Over $75,000
Julianne Young Weddings Inc., Calgary, AB

Wedding Professional of the Year
Arthur Kerekes, Fusion Events, Toronto, ON

 

Readers’ Choice Award Winners:

Favorite Event DJ
Sam Flemming, Evolved Entertainment

Favorite Event Entertainer
Arthur Kerekes, Fusion Events

Favorite Event Venue
Jennifer Prince, AGO Art Gallery of Ontario

How to Become a Wedding Planner

wpic certified wedding planner

Photo of Janis from Brocade Events.ca by PhatDogVisuals.com

by Danielle Andrews Sunkel

It’s easy to become a Wedding Planner, but it takes time, education, experience and perseverance to become a successful one.

Its important to know that over-night success does not happen in the Wedding Industry. Clients aren’t going to bang down your door just because you register your business and set-up a website. It will take at least 1 1/2-2 years before your business will be able to sustain you as your primary income and that is only if you really market yourself and persevere.

Education

WPIC students in classThe first step to becoming a Wedding Coordinator is education.  Not only do you need to know Bride and Groom Psychology, Event Management, Coordination, and Day-of problem-solving, but there are many laws and regulations that Wedding Coordinators need to be aware of.  As well, you need education in what you can and should expect from vendors, their contracts and their expectations of you.  You need to know about different religions, their requirements and ceremonies, wedding etiquette, budgeting, as well as business and marketing in the wedding industry.

We, of course, are proponents of The Wedding Planners Institute of Coordination’s Wedding Coordinator Certification Program.

A true Wedding Professional knows that their education is NEVER finished, so consistently attending workshops and yearly Wedding Industry conventions and conferences is a must.

Inspiration

You can never have enough inspiration.  Constantly immerse yourself in the world of weddings.  Watch all the television shows, movies, read the magazines and attend the wedding tradeshows.  Find out who the major players in the wedding world are, read their Blogs, follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

Networking

www.wpic.ca

Photo: www.jonoandlaynie.com

Get to know your local key wedding players, go see the venues, meet the vendors.  You can never know too much about your local market.

Become a member of a professional association.  This association should offer additional and extended learning and training opportunities, a job shadowing or volunteer program, networking opportunities, as well as business information and a network of support.  We operate the “WPICAlumni Association”, it is 3500 members strong and membership is FREE with WPIC Certification 😉

Experience

Through your association you should be able to gain experience by working with an established wedding planner by volunteering your services on the day of the wedding.  In return, you will gain priceless hands-on experience and learn invaluable tips and tricks of the trade.

Be Professional

wedding planner in officeOnce you have gained your WPIC certification and gotten some hands-on experience you can begin to set-up your business.  Remember that everything about you and your business needs to be professional. Walk the walk, and talk the talk. Use proper business etiquette in all that you do. Dress professionally and appropriately.  Be what you picture a Wedding Planner to be.

The Wedding Industry is a very small world and Word of Mouth can make or break you.  So remember to stay ethical, treat your clients well, always give 110%, play nicely with others and give other Wedding Professionals the respect they deserve when you are working together.

 

Five Lessons Learned in My First WPIC Certified Year

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By: Poonam Saini, WPICC of P.S. Eventful

Five Lessons Learned in My First WPIC Certified Year

When I decided to become a wedding planner, there was one thing I knew for certain: I need to be certified. After all, you wouldn’t call yourself a lawyer without receiving a LL.B. right? To me, a WPIC certification meant necessary credibility and invaluable education.

Last June (2014), I took the plunge and dedicated 22+ hours in one weekend (or three months via correspondence) to begin my journey to becoming a Certified Wedding Planner. The hours may sound daunting at first, but in actuality one weekend (and two weeks afterwards) is hardly a tough commitment to make in gaining your WPIC certification. As I look back, it was the best decision I made to start my career as a Wedding Planner.

 

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The five lessons I’ve learned in my first year as a WPIC Alumni:

1) Utilize the WPIC Alumni Boards
Aside from giving you a certificate, WPIC also gives you a priceless tool to utilize as an alumnus: the boards! This is a forum exclusive to alumni members where you can seek advice, connect with fellow planners, and find volunteer/paid positions. As soon as I became part of the alumni I spent HOURS reading old threads which allowed me to gain tons of insight into the world of wedding planning (stuff you just can’t find in a textbook!).

2) Volunteer with WPIC Alumni
Everyone has to start somewhere…and chances are you may not have a paid opportunity as soon as you obtain your WPIC certification. Before seeking my own clients, I decided to volunteer with two fellow planners. The allowed me to get a first-hand look at what exactly the role of a wedding planner entails (and ease my nerves!). Volunteering was incredible because it allowed me to build a relationship with fellow planners who now hire me for paid positions.

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3) Education is Key
As a wedding planner, you wear many hats. You need to constantly educate yourself on things such as wedding trends, what flowers are in season, types of invitation paper, wedding dress designers…the list goes on and on and on! There’s tons of webinars, conferences, networking events, etc. to keep yourself in the loop so be sure to stay educated! (My particular favorite this past year has been The Wedding Professionals Workshop where I was inspired by the incredible Diann Valentine).

4) Stay within Industry Standards
If you’re not already a wedding planner, you’ll soon learn the value of the hours you dedicate to the business and the time you take to grow your skills. Don’t undermine the wedding planning industry by charging less than industry standards. It’s easy to feel the need to make a few quick bucks, but in the long run, you’re doing a disfavor to yourself and the rest of us planners.

5) Know Yourself
As a wedding planner, you have to be able to sell YOURSELF. And in order to do that, you better know what you’re selling! Be aware of your weaknesses, but highlight your strengths. For example, don’t call yourself a wedding stylist if you’re weak in design! It’s a small industry and your reputation counts. You are your own brand after all.

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

 

www.weddingprocourses.com

Photo: www.avenue-photo.com

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.

Whats-in-a-Nme

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”: enchantedlearning.com  I love this!

 

Good-Name-Bad-Name

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?

Namemesh.com  dotomator.com  unique-names.com

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.