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Demystifying the Wedding Planner’s Role

What does a Wedding Planner do, anyway?

by Daniela Caputo, WPICC, Instructor for WPIC and Owner of Montreal Event Planner

Hiring the right Wedding (Planner) Professional is critical to planning your dream wedding…
(this alone can be quite stressful)

  • How does one find the right match?
  • How do you know whom to trust?
  • Where do you go for advice

Well first of all, this is not an easy task and it’s totally normal for couples to feel overwhelmed,
frustrated or confused.
It’s not like you plan a wedding every day, right?
This is all brand new to you, so be patient with yourself and pace yourself….

Here are a few tips to finding the right WEDDING PROFESSIONAL for you;
Do Your Homework. You’ll get much more out of a meeting or conversation with a
wedding professional if you do a little background homework first.

  • Spend some time on the internet or talking to friends who’ve recently been
  • Find out the average prices in your area and what services are available.
  • Get an idea of what you like and don’t like.
  • Wedding websites and chat rooms can be a great resource.
  • This way when you meet with a wedding professional you’ll be able to ask
    better questions and have an idea of what to look out for.

Meet With Them. An in person meeting is the best way to interview a potential wedding
planner. It lets you get the full experience of their personality, style and professionalism.
If that’s not possible, have a phone conversation.

Ask Questions. There are no stupid questions! Make sure you get clear, specific answers
to your questions. If you aren’t sure what something means, ask them to clarify. Keep
asking questions until you completely understand.

If the wedding planner has a problem with you asking questions, they probably aren’t the
one for you. The best wedding professionals are patient, understanding and take the time to
help you make the best choices for your wedding.

Listen. Don’t just hear the words they say, really listen. Watch the vendor’s body

  • Are they confident and comfortable with their response?
  • Do they look and sound nervous?
  • Do you get a “funny feeling” about them?

Take all the sights, sounds and feelings into account along with their responses; if your gut
tells you something isn’t right, it probably isn’t.

Check References. Portfolios are hand-picked to show off the best work, but they may not
represent the “average” wedding performance. Videos are edited for the optimum
presentation. However, real referrals from satisfied clients are hard to fake;

  • Call up both client and professional references.
  • Ask questions and use those listening skills.
  • Even if they give a rave review, you’ll often be able to “read between the lines”
    if there were any issues or problems.
  • Ask around and search the internet for reviews.
  • Check the Better Business Bureau for any outstanding complaints against the
  • Weigh all of this information into your choices.

The following are MUST ASK QUESTIONS to ask your potential Wedding Professional:

How many weddings do you do per year?
How much experience do you have?

These are extremely important questions. Ideally, your wedding professional should have ample
experience specifically with weddings. Not only will they be more skilled in their craft, this also
makes them a valuable source of information and ensures that your wedding day goes smoothly.

How much do you cost?

Price is often relative, especially when you factor in experience, reputation and expert skill.
Generally, the most talented professionals have a higher price tag because they are worth it.

How much is the Initial Payment?
What specifically is included in that cost?

Because packages often vary, it’s likely that you won’t be able to compare one vendor exactly to
the next without doing a little figuring. The lowest cost isn’t necessarily the best deal; some higher
quotes include services that you have to pay extra for in other packages. Make sure you take this
into account.

What happens if I cancel?
What happens if you cancel?

Find out if your Initial Payment is refundable under any conditions. Does the wedding professional have a backup plan if something happens to them?

Do you use a contract?

If the answer is No, RUN! A contract is designed to protect both you and the wedding professional. Don’t settle for a verbal agreement that won’t hold up in court.

Are there any additional fees?

Taxes, service charges and travel fees can add up quickly. Make sure you understand exactly what
is included and if there are any other fees you’ll have to pay. This should be clearly defined in your

Do you carry Liability Insurance?

The answer you’re looking for here is Yes. This protects you in case an unfortunate accident
should occur on your wedding day. It’s also a sign that this is a reputable business; since most “fly
by night” operations don’t invest in insurance. If chosen wisely, with the right wedding vendors
you get expert help and advice…for free!

Don’t forget your Wedding Professional is going to be your go-to person. From answering your
wedding etiquette questions to vendor contract negotiations, this team will design, coordinate
and manage your day down to the smallest detail, saving you time, hassle and headaches. The full service wedding package normally includes:

  • Initial consulting to discuss your vision and expectations.
  • Developing your signature style based on your personality as a couple.
  • Establishing and maximizing your budget, with ongoing tracking of all expenses.
  • Creating a calendar, so it’s easy to stay up-to-day.
  • Assistance in selecting, ordering and mailing invitations.
  • Referring and scheduling appointments with vendors that meet your precise needs.
    (from venue – caterer – photographer and more)
  • Negotiating vendor contracts with your best interest in mind.
  • Securing the hotel packages for out-of town guests.
  • Review meetings with you and your groom, to put your mind at ease.
  • Finding and securing the rehearsal dinner venue.
  • Attending rehearsal, by lending support and assistance.
  • Coordinating and orchestrating all wedding day activities.
  • Taking care of all reception logistical details, from the floor plan to supervising table
    setting, name card placement, flower arrangement, distribution of payments to
    vendors etc…

WEDDING COSTS (behind the contract)
When planning your wedding you likely will go to many vendors and part of that process is
receiving quotes for each chosen products and/or services. You ask yourself; Why is there so much variation in price points? Well, there are a million answers for that but I’ll try and breakdown the most common of them…

Would you work at your job for free? No.  Well good… because no matter how much I love you and my career I can’t and won’t either.  I have a family to feed, a roof to put over our heads, and a life to live. If you don’t pay my time (yes, labour) than I am essentially working for free and quite frankly… I can’t afford that.

Offices cost money. If your chosen vendor works from home that costs money as well. If we travel to you, to your vendors, go out on sourcing trips, or site visits. It’s ALL overhead. Overhead are the fixed costs associated with running our business that you, as the client, have to help pay in the long run…

Rental rates are most often cheaper than purchase price but can still be expensive depending on the product. Swarovski crystal is much more expensive than glass. Likewise different items cost different amounts. The longer a vendor owns said object the less valuable it becomes (as it builds wear and tear).

This one is tricky but for people, like myself, who are ‘creative’ our ‘product’ is our creativity.  There is a dollar value associated with our time, our efforts, and our creativity for our clients.  Inspiration boards, custom designed centerpieces, invitations, unique design, etc… all are
examples of the creative process. People are often confused or frustrated by paying for an ‘intangible’ item but in the end my ‘intangible’ creative brain evokes the emotion, creates the design, and sculpts your wedding into a work of art. What’s that worth to you?

Gas prices suck! There I said it! However, running a business means having the ability to travel and shipping costs, trucking costs, setup, teardown, etc… are all part of that. When gas/travel prices go up – often so does the quote in correlation to what we’re seeing in raising costs elsewhere.

You can (& some people do) have their weddings for next to no budget. Personally, I’m delighted they can do it! However, I know the sacrifices that they have to make in order to do that. Quality product does not come cheap. Let me explain … it rarely comes cheap. There are exceptions to every rule of course. If you want premium product be prepared to pay premium price.

Along with reputation and experience comes knowing your worth. Anyone with a solid reputation in their industry and the experience to back it up earns more. It’s like a corporate ladder for the self employed. When we start out, we probably did pro-bono or at-cost work, but that very quickly shows a very negative bottom line and doesn’t work. Those who want to get better in their Industry know that they have to produce outstanding work – consistently. This means attending conferences, tradeshows, seminars and yes, producing beautiful weddings ALL THE TIME.

Those with great reputations & experiences levels are also the most sought after and thus demand drives pricing structures as well. Likewise, if I am a company of one or even two people and you sign with us you are guaranteeing my personal services thus making it impossible for anyone else to book my services for your date, this in turn makes me a solid commodity for the first who hires me for my services.

Now that you ‘KNOW’ where the costs come from doesn’t always make it easier to comprehend?
Isn’t knowing better than not knowing?

Photo by

Photo by

For nearly three decades, Daniela Caputo and her company Montreal Event Planner has been the go-to authority, because of her wealth of experience and expertise.

She has developed a reputation for professionalism in various aspects of planning, from client services and project management to marketing, event execution, negotiations and sourcing, putting her at the forefront of event planning in Montreal and beyond.

Daniela is regularly featured and interviewed in industry publications such as The Event Planner magazine.  Given her expertise and reputable success, Daniela was invited to teach various courses on event planning at as well as speak for a number of school boards.

Daniela  joined the WPIC team of Instructors in 2014.

Get Your Destination Wedding Specialist Certification Through WPIC…LIVE!


WPIC inc. will be hosting the DWC course on Sunday, August 23, 2015 at the Radisson Admiral.

Date: Sunday, August 23, 2015
Breakfast: 9:30am
Course Time: 10-6pm
(Lunch at 1pm)
Poolside Cocktail Party: 6pm

Location: Radisson Admiral ~249 Queen’s Quay West
A special room rate of $170 is available for those who wish to stay over the night prior or after the class.


Cost of Course: $349CDN

Register Now! (click)

WPIC Instructor, Monica Caesar (and DW expert of Aisle Plan Your Day) will be facilitating the course.

Headshot of Monica Caesar WPIC

Topics include:

  • History of Destination Weddings
  • Who is the Destination Client?
  • Advice from an Expert
  • Where do you start?
  • Budget, Research, Places to get Married
  • Themes
  • Making the Wedding Special for Everyone
  • How to find Reputable Vendors
  • Contracts & Fees
  • Legalities & Marriage Requirements on Destinations
  • Marketing to Destination Wedding clients
  • Destination Wedding Statistics, etc.

Guest speakers:

  • Jennifer Borgh of Jennifer Borgh Events and Travel Only
  • Representatives from the Mexico Tourism Board, Jamaica Tourism Board, Barbados Tourism Board and the Bahamas Tourism Board
Successful candidates will be certified as a “DWC” Destination Wedding Coordinator (Wedding Planners) or “DWS” Destination Wedding SPecialist (Travel Agents) and may use the corresponding initials after their name.
Requirements for Wedding Planners:
You must be certified in Wedding Planning/Coordination by a WPIC-recognized Institute.
Requirements for Travel Agents:
You must be a registered Travel Counselor/Agent.Student must be in attendance for in-person training, then you will have 3 months to complete the manual, write an on-line examination and submit a project.
For those of you already DWC or DWS, and would like to learn the latest information and in-person training, contact us at for reduced payment details.

You are then invited to a Pool Party overlooking Lake Ontario, hosted by the Radisson Admiral & WPIC, after the class!

Radisson Admiral poolradisson admiral pool

D & W Entertainment Group will provide the music for the event (You remember how amazing they were at the WPIC Kickoff!)

This event will be featured on the blog, as well as professionally photographed by WPIC’er Yan Zhou of A Vision Studios

Deadline to Register:
August 16, 2015


Continuing Education classes for Wedding Pros that won’t take too much time or break the bank!

woman taking online course

by Danielle Andrews Sunkel

At WPIC we strongly believe you are never finished with your education.  There is always something new to learn and a better way of doing things.

Here are a few Continuing Education classes to help you be the best Wedding Professional you can be, that won’t break the bank or take too much of your valuable time!

man sketching

Sketching or Creative Professionals

Being able to communicate your vision to clients and other wedding professionals is a wonderful and very necessary tool.  There is an one-hour introduction to sketching class taught by Mary Phan and offered through Brit +Co for the amazing price of $19.99USD!  Or you can attend the full class in person for $349 through The Sketchbook Series.

woman decorating cakeCake Decorating

Being able to properly fix a wedding cake mishap is something every Wedding Planner should know.  Luckily there are inexpensive cake decorating “The Wilton Method” courses offered by Wilton at your local Michael’s store!

blogger photography

Photography for Building Business

We all know how visual our wedding clients can be.  Having an attractive Blog or Instagram account with lots of eye candy, are a couple ways to attract new clients.  Improving your photography skills can take as little as 45 minutes through another great course via Brit & Co, Photography for Bloggers.

flower arranging

The Basics of Floral Arranging

You should be able to create a boutonniere or corsage in a pinch, or even fix a bouquet.  Within four weeks and an investment of only $125, this  online class from Nicole’s Classes will teach you the basics including a hand-tied bouquet, flower arranging, wedding head wreaths and more.

Never. Stop. Learning.


I wish I knew this before starting my business – Wedding Pros give advice

When starting your business or starting in a new field, there are so many questions and often no one to ask. At WPIC we provide our alumni with a free association so they can share best practices, network with their peers and get answers to the questions they have.

We asked our WPICAlumni what advice they wished they could give themselves when they were just starting out and these wonderful Wedding Pros shared their advice.

twins business advice

What do you wish you could tell your former self?

“I’d tell myself that when you own a business, wedding planning is only about 25% of the job. The rest of the time you are marketing, building websites, blogging, education yourself, talking to media,re-educating yourself, networking, taking care of the business side, etc, etc.”
-Danielle Andrews Sunkel, The Wedding Planners

“Being in a bridal show or magazine doesn’t mean you’ve made it. Within the first two years of owning my business, I thought it was important to be in bridal shows and magazines. I started signing up for mini bridal shows within the Durham Region and smaller pockets just outside the GTA as well as smaller magazines based out of Durham. These shows and magazines that I had spent a fortune on did absolutely nothing for me. In the first few years I think it’s much more important to focus on the processes that you will run your business with, a really great website, and social media to get your name out there. You could be at the largest bridal show in Toronto, but if your name isn’t recognized among their friends, or you don’t have great testimonials on your website, they won’t book with you.”
-Kim Choy, Morganley Events

“Along with getting educated in event planning, one should also study other areas of how to run a business, which includes accounting, marketing, customer service, administration, event trends, and sales. Having an amazing support team at home, and at work, is a must to survive the demanding role of a wedding planner.”
-Hevin Mueller, Story Weddings & Events

  • “I did not realize that after going to art school I would need to go to business school to learn how to sell my art. I would have told myself to study a bit more about business practises instead of learning them the hard way. But such is the path of the plucky optimist dreamer.
  • Another thing is that if you are too scared to go into business on your own, do not take on a business partner just to share the risk and workload. Hire staff or experts for each division of your company that you are weakest at. If you are a good match and complement one and inspire one another then proceed ONLY WITH A PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT. It’s basically a prenuptial! To build a proper business plan is to include what will happen when it fails or if you grow apart and not together in your vision for the company or priorities in life.
  • The other thing I would have told myself is to get your accounting practises straight and make sure you put all your taxes, CPP, RRSP, savings, education, promotion and reinvestments into your business away each month with your gross income. It’s nice to get that big pay check for thousands, but do the math and realize that it is gross and not net and you might only be able to pay yourself hundreds after the bills are all paid. Many creative types are not naturally good with money so I had to learn some of these lessons the hard way and now my policies are airtight and bulletproof which allows me to confidently take on the my dream clients. Yah!
  • Oh and having a partner that understands you is of paramount importance if you are going to succeed without burning out over the years!
    If you are going to go back and start over, just don’t forget to put the crystals in the time machine!”
    -Sam Fleming (aka DJ Efsharp), Evolved Entertainment

“I wish I knew more about effective online marketing strategies prior to starting my business. I honestly believed that because of my large network, it would be pretty easy to get the momentum going and create buzz around my business and website, but now I realize the time commitment of creating good content on my blog and staying relevant across all social media platforms. This is a job all by itself! It takes a lot of time and effort to create a strong brand, and you have to spend a lot of time evaluating your advertising campaigns to figure out what works for you – it isn’t just about getting people to visit your website, it’s about getting the right people – your ideal clients – to visit your website AND to reach out and contact you.”
-Alisha Chadee, Whim Event Coordination and Design

“The number of forms and contracts you’d need to create! Planning is only easy when you have your 1001 forms made and ready to be used, and when you have a workflow set to manage incoming opportunities!”
-Nasreen Faiz, Rangeen Weddings and Events

“Saying no doesn’t mean you’re a jerk.”
-Suzzette Patten, Exquisite Occasions

  • “I wish I’d known that I was going to have to face negativity and scoffing from friends and family who thought that this was going to be a hobby business for me. I wish I’d known that I was going to have shut out their negative voices and turn up my own positive voice to drown them out.
  • I wish I’d known that life/work balance is largely a myth in the first few years of starting a successful business. When I did figure that out, I wish I’d known that there would eventually come a time where some of that balance could be restored.
  • I wish I’d known that the more successful I’d become, the fewer “friends” I’d have, and the more people would talk about me behind my back. I also wish I’d known when this started to happen that ultimately it didn’t matter, as long as I stayed focused on my business and my clients.
  • I wish I’d known that perfection, while in many ways a positive trait in this industry, can also be crippling. I spent too much time worrying about “perfect” when “good enough” would have done just fine, especially in regards to internal projects that had nothing to do with clients or event partners. Save your “perfect” for clients, always.
  • I wish I’d started tracking my time earlier in my business. Once I did, it made an enormous difference to how I worked with clients and how I charged, as well as who I marketed to.
  • I wish I’d known to brand my business based on my target market, not on my own personal preferences. This was a mistake that caused me to have to re-brand in year 2, which cost a good amount of money.
  • I wish I’d known that although this industry requires very little in terms of start-up costs, there will always be a need to re-invest in your business. In hindsight, I would have saved up or taken out a bank loan at the beginning in order to allow me to breathe a little easier at the start.
  • I wish I’d known that my time = money. I struggled for many years to do everything myself, because I thought it would be cheaper than paying someone else to do it. However, those were hours that I could have spent marketing and growing the business. Choosing to work with a business coach in my 4th year made a huge difference in this regard – I no longer had to problem-solve every issue on my own and I took his advice and outsourced many tasks, which allowed me to devote more time to bringing in more clients.
  • I wish I’d had systems and templates and a solid business model in place before I started working with my first client. Instead, I created them on a “need” basis and was constantly torn between spending time with my clients and spending time trying to create a process within my business to be more efficient and organized.’

-Mary Swaffield, Mary Elizabeth & Co.

“Perfection is a myth, don’t become obsessed with it and don’t sell it to your clients. True perfectionists know there will always be something to improve.”
-Gaitree Shivnauth, Plan My Day Weddings + Events

“I would tell my former self. Never allow others to haggle you on your pricing to secure a booking. Value your creativity and hard work and others will too. Be true to your craft. Don’t settle. Hard lesson learned but worth it.”
-Sandra Colaire, We Coordinate This

“Before starting up my business, I wish I knew just how much patience organization, and planning is involved in setting up a company. From registering, to insurance, to logos, website, and templates and forms. It’s a lot of work, slow going at times, but oh so worth it!”
-Amanda Kueneman, Like A Star Weddings & Events

“I wish I knew how many phone calls and e-mails I’d receive in regards to marketers trying to sell me ad space, social media strategies or SEO packages. I’ve learned to block calls from people who call more than twice!”
-Poonam Saini, P.S. Eventful.

  • “I wish I would have known about the amazing resources out there for planners/business people:…yXFhGmm_zlAT7A
  • A word of wisdom: “Pick the people you want to have in your every day life. Make sure you pick people that inspire, uplight, challenge and encourage you. This might be online, in person, or via the WPIC or another group in your area. You might get a lot of people that see the light of your success and will want to take a little bit of it for themselves (I don’t blame them, it’s appealing) but surround yourself with like-minded people and a support team that understands you, your goals and cheers you on. Don’t be afraid to ‘weed people’ out”
  • Something I learned very quickly when I started out:“Confidence is key. If you can’t make your clients feel secure in hiring you, or in you skills when working with you you’re 1)Not going to close any deals, and 2) you won’t make them feel that peace-of-mind that we all want our clients to feel on there wedding day and throughout the planning process. As soon as you master radiating confidence you’ll do a whole lot better.”

-Amanda Douglas, Amanda Douglas Events

“I wish I could have told my former self to stop COMPARING. When I started, I felt I was JUST a needle in a haystack and no one will ever find me in a sea of creative fishes. I was scared people will judge me because I might not be good enough. BUT eventually I just had to get down and boogie to my own style and approach. It turned out to be an amazing journey. I haven’t stopped boogie-ing since.”
-Maria Chi, Peppermint Weddings

“How to know my worth and the value I bring to clients! Don’t undervalue yourself!”
-Kristine Carr, Kristine Carr Wedding & Events

“I wish I knew… That you are only as smart as the research and the resources you can find and that exist. If a topic doesn’t exist, why not take the time to study and become an expert. Who knows, others might be quoting you some day!”
-Carmelina Karas, The Wedding Planner Magazine,

Get Inspired! 5 Blog Posts to Write After A Wedding

by Guest Blogger, Kathy DalPra, of Bride Appeal

1. Venue Review
Provide a review of the venue where the wedding was held and give your readers insight into the kind of experience they can expect there.

2. Trend Ideas
Did this weekend’s wedding feature a new trend you’ve been seeing pop up? Talk about it on the blog and give your audience new ideas to consider.

3. List Post
Have you had a few other weddings like this one that shared a similar theme, style, tradition, trend or other special element? Write a list post about it, such as “How Today’s Bride is Approaching the Wedding Cake” or “The New Father-Daughter Dance That’s Got Everyone Talking” or “Backyard Weddings Gone Luxury”. Provide a link to each real wedding post that applies to this topic with a brief summary of how each relates back to the list topic.

4. Vendor Interviews
When you’re at the event, be sure to introduce yourself to the other vendors and exchange cards. Then, follow up afterward and ask to briefly interview them about their business. Then, use these interviews to create a handful of blog posts, which could keep your blog filled with great content in between every event. Remember to keep it interesting. Brides relate to stories and inspiration so you’ll want to make sure your interview has both.

5. Real Wedding
And, of course, brides can never get enough of those real wedding posts, so remember to share the details of the event in this way too with tons of photos for eye candy.


Kathy DalPra


Kathy DalPra is a former bridal-preneur who unexpectedly fell in love with web design and SEO. Today she helps other wedding and event professionals use their website to get more traffic, leads and inquiries so they can create a thriving business in any economy. Learn how to turn curious visitors into paying clients on her website: Bride Appeal.

Branding Your Business – The Importance of Standing Out From the Crowd


By: Tracey Manailescu

*As seen on the Event Source blog.

We all know the basic fundamentals of having a brand; a great and easy to navigate website, tagline and logo, competitive pricing, valuable services, etc.

You are your business, and your business is you and it’s time to take it a bit further. By being authentic, having a presence on social media, knowing your target market and giving good customer service, you are creating a brand that you should feel great about.


Be your Authentic Self:

The best way to be authentic with your customers is to be true to your brand.

You need to be communicating your brand clearly, consistently and continuously.

Believe it or not, it‘s actually not that hard to stand out from the crowd.

We all have our own way of doing things based on situations and experiences that we have had over the course of our lifetime. The things that we believe in, the way we handle difficult clients, tricky situations, deadlines and customer service. It all comes down to our own individual strengths and weaknesses. Take a good hard look at both of these things, and put your strengths into play. Not so sure about what your strengths and weaknesses are? Ask your past clients, good friends, trusted family members and industry colleagues what they see as your best attributes, skills and things you need to work on. Keep in mind that you don’t want just anyone to be ripping you apart; this is supposed to be eye-opening and helpful, after all. After they have chewed you up and spit you out, really think about it and listen to what they have to tell you, and make changes as you see fit.

Social Media:

Social media can be an excellent source for branding, and a great tool for marketing your business to the wedding and events industry. Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, blogging and Google+ are available free to you to share your products, services and personality with existing and potential clients. Use them to show glimpses of what goes on in your business and what you do on a regular basis with the use of photos, things you discuss, your comments, and interact with your followers. Share positive feedback from past clients, show photos of you with your clients, photos of yourself and your team working at a wedding or event, share exciting news about your company, share behind the scenes photos at weddings and events, etc.

*70% of consumers prefer getting to know a company via articles than ads.

Know Your Target Market:

Who are your clients? You need to know who you are talking to with your marketing. What age are they, what is their average household income? Where do they live? What are they willing to spend on your service or product? What is their style? Everything you do with your business should be aimed at them. You need to understand your target market and be able to give them what they want and need. When you know and understand this, then you can look at where these potential clients are looking online and off, to find your type of services.

Give Good Customer Service:

This should be your company’s priority. Our businesses are built on personal interactions and client expectations. The best advice I can give on this subject is to put yourself in the position of your clients. What would make you feel good about working with your company? Are you making your clients feel special, that they are important to you, and that you care and are passionate about your service? Are you listening and finding a solution to their concerns and problems? If you have had complaints in the past, did you own up to the mistakes? Did you learn from them? What can you do to ensure it doesn’t happen again? Be professional, prompt, know your industry and product, under promise and over deliver, understand what your clients want and need from you, listen, and make sure you understand exactly what it is they want from you, and make your clients satisfaction a priority.

**70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated.


Source: *Ann Handley


Find the Marketer in YOU!

Photo by Decordova Photography

By: Kaley Campbell, WPICC and WPIC Office Manager

marketing plan

Find the Marketer in YOU!

Overlooked Marketing Tips Boost Your Company’s’ Presence Online and Offline

  • Only write content that serves a purpose. While writing a blog, social media post, posting photos, updating your website, make sure the information is directly providing a service to potential clientele.  Whether it is posting information for the purpose of reflection, education, entertainment, to showcase talent, even just to start a conversation; make sure you are posting for a reason.  Pointless posts with no follow ups go nowhere and are easily skipped over.  Post what you would be interesting in seeing.
  • Switch it up. If your social media plan has you posting tips and business information, ALL the time, lighten it up with photos or videos. Repost things you find interesting and that still are relative.  Choose posts that show you have a personality as well, and this will make you more relatable.
  • Industry partnerships. This is HUGE in the Wedding Professional World. The more your work is showcased; the better chances your work will be exposed to your target market.  Connect with businesses that are in your field and compliment your business, and see if they do any featuring on their social media or website.  A lot of companies use outside materials for blogs, shoots, or inspiration, and this is a fantastic way to be showcased.
  • Apply for business awards in your field. There are TONS of business related awards awarded every year in every sort of industry, APPLY, APPLY, And APPLY! These awards will allow you to be on that company’s registry, and it makes your company look even better. Some clientele focus solely on credentials, and this is a way to stay on top of the game.
  • Charity donations. This is one that I would consider a win-win situation.  Donate your time, service, or products to a local charity event.  Not only will your company be shown in the best light, you get exposure to a wide variety of people in your area.
  • Most small businesses survive off of word of mouth alone. Boost this. You’re putting your time and effort into making your clientele’s wedding a success, gaining their trust, and creating the most magical day possible. Capture everything and ask for feedback.  Use testimonials to your advantage.  Also, create a referral plan where friends and family of previous clientele can have a discount on your services.
  • Don’t overlook the power of a well-made business card. You are professional creators of stunning events; don’t lead your business off on the wrong foot by releasing material that doesn’t reflect your talent or creativity. Also, make sure that your branding and style mirrors your company.  Misrepresentation is all it takes to lose clients.
  • Set aside a set amount of time every day on all social media platforms just to “like”, “retweet”, “comment” and “follow”. This is the time to get conversations going online, not to sell your service.  This is the time to show that you are dedicated and active online and are interested in people for more than just business purposes.
  • Be seen at the “must attend” events. Showing that you are an active business professional at different seminars and functions will really make your business stand out.  Don’t over-look the power of networking.  You never know what will come from just basic conversations, and treat everyone like you would a high profile client.



Your Barista is not a Model

pretty baristaby Kristi Drago-Price, Editor’s Edge

You’ve put in the time, the money, and the resources to produce a styled shoot, so why isn’t it getting picked up for publication?

Well, there are a few answers.  Maybe the magazine you submitted it to only uses in-house content, or the blog just featured a story with a similar theme.  But there’s also one very common reason your styled shoot didn’t get picked up that the editors might not be telling you: The model sucked.

A pretty face (that you discovered behind the counter of your favorite coffee shop) does not a model make!  In fact, some of the best models–the ones who truly know how to work the camera naturally–are rather ordinary-looking in real life.  If Kate Moss worked at the Starbucks down the street, I bet you wouldn’t even notice her… unless she was smoking indoors and drinking champagne on the job!

Don’t let your creativity and hard work go unseen because of an overly-posed beauty queen in a wedding dress.  Take the time to hold a casting, involve your team in the selection process, hire someone who fits the style and mood of your shoot, and invest just as much in the model as you would on that spectacular flower wall.

As Photo Editor on Conde Nast’s BRIDES magazine for over a decade, Kristi Drago-Price directed the visual content creation for thousands of images in all genres of photography.  Now as Editor’s Edge, Kristi uses her powerfully trained eye to curate, critique and sharpen the visual message of wedding brands.  Kristi also produces and directs photo shoots for clients such as The Know, Architectural Digest, The Bump and Self while continuing to be a highly regarded wedding photographer.

Canadian Weddings: The ULTIMATE Destination

Photo by Decordova Photography

By: WPIC Office Manager, Kaley Campbell

Canadian Weddings: The ULTIMATE Destination

The wedding venue: Arguably the most important detail of the wedding planning process. I, for one, will always remember the setting and the feeling of a wedding and look back at pictures to see the beauty around the day.  A lot of brides will look for destination weddings to get the perfect setting, however here in Canada; we have so much hidden beauty that will captivate any attendee.

Atlantic Canada:

Of course I will start this one off by highlighting one of my favorite places in the entire world: Atlantic Canada. I have attended so many stunningly beautiful weddings here, and I can’t wait to share with you the magic of this place. Decor: You do not need to worry as much about decor when you have the Oceans’ beauty as your backdrop.  You cannot drive for more than a few hours in any province without hitting a beach or oceanfront views.  Many people choose to have an outdoor wedding and use this to their advantage. Beaches are not the only outdoor options.  These four provinces are lined with caves, waves, cliffs and peaks to create a completely different feel. The Maritimes have some of the most sought-after golf courses in the world, which provides luxury and elegance, if that is what you are looking for. Atlantic Canada is bordered with all different types of lighthouses, all that provide a deep sense of history while being pretty enough to make any wedding a knock-out. Atlantic Canada is also often seen as the “it” place to be for any Celtic weddings.  With the gorgeous landscape, the greenery, and with the scenic beauty and charm overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, these provinces are the perfect destination for your Celtic-tied wedding..  Another trend that is on the up and up, are weddings that take place in rustic barns, highlighting the natural beauty and pulling a lot of nostalgic heart strings.  Atlantic Canada is filled with clay roads, red cliffs, rocky points, ponds, harbour fronts, coal mines and more; a venue for everyone. But, you better know that with any traditional maritime wedding, you should prepare for the homemade drinks to be flowing and a big feeling of “home” as part of the spirit.

Maple Syrup


The province of Quebec offers so much culturally, historically, and sensually. Sensually, this is the destination for the couple who wants to showcase food like no other. Quebec is one of the major destinations in Canada for the food connoisseurs, and as we all know food is a major part of the wedding celebrations.  There are tastes that are only found here, from traditional poutine to the Maple Bush, any one would be excited to attend a Quebec-based wedding.  Quebec offers so much more as well.  Famous landmarks such as the Ice Castle, The battlefields of the Plains of Abraham, buildings from the 17th – mid 19th century, or Mont Royal; there is a piece of Quebec that interests us all. Quebec would definitely be a top contender as the perfect setting for a wedding in any season.  With romantic cobblestone walkways, heritage homes, colorful cafés and new-age feels, this might be the destination to fit your wedding. Ontario has one of the biggest tourist attractions; Niagara Falls. Niagara Falls brings in over 12 million people a year to see its absolute glorious beauty. There are casinos, restaurants, and a vibrant nightlife right on scene, overlooking this world wonder. Ontario also offers the CN tower, Parliament Hill, and the Rideau Canal for unforgettable wedding locations.  However, the standard sight-seeing scenes are not only what Ontario has to offer. Weddings in Ontario are getting creative with their venues.  Vineyards have been a popular choice, but now breweries are on the rise.  Ontario has a lot of local breweries that offer amazing architecture and a rugged beauty. Ontario also is hosting amazing weddings with panoramic views of the city. Venues are popping up everywhere, capturing the heart of the city, and the bright lights and polished city.

The Canadian Rockies

The Canadian Rockies

Western Canada:

Western Canada offers a completely different feel / geography then Eastern Canada. Western Canada has so many natural beauties to draw in every type of couple.  Ice fields provides a blank terrain of pure ice backed by mountain views, Killer whale watching expeditions showcase nature in such a pure form,  and storm watching is becoming a trend to capture the impeccable photos desired. Western Canada is host to a lot of different wilderness resorts, polar bear adventures, hot springs, and more. Besides the impeccable landscape that these western provinces have to offer, there are other trends that are found in this area of Canada.  Like in Eastern Canada, barn weddings are a common trend that’s on the rise. A different trend, however, is full elaborate flower gardens. Garden weddings provide such an elegant grace to any ceremony.  The Canadian Rockies are a common and exquisite back drop for Alberta’s wedding revenues.

“We’re big on socials and having weddings be big parties to celebrate with family and friends. We’re known for the province that spends the most on weddings and for good reason; we have a short season of warm weather so when it’s nice we’re out, we want to have fun, and we want everyone else to as well! We love our tent weddings, backyard weddings and also our pub and restaurant weddings. We like to get back to our roots with good old German and Ukrainian comfort food and we’re all in for late night snack and sweets tables. Our weddings are all about the experience and being with the people you love.” – Amanda Douglas owner of Amanda Douglas Events

Hot Air Balloon

Northern Canada:

The natural beauty of Northern Canada is one that you cannot find anywhere else.  The Northern Lights are one of the main attractions. The sky lights up in a beautiful haze of colors, creating an exclusive look for any wedding photo. The Northern Territories also provides a different living experience with the Aboriginal cultures.  Northern Canada offers beautiful old Inukshuk, Dog team traveling, small intimate communities, sculptures, print artists, tapestry, Aboriginal celebrations, unique music,  and more.  Some of the more popular wedding trends that are found in the Territories are getting wedding photos on or with hot air balloons overlooking the beautiful terrain, getting married in the famous igloo church which captures the whole feel of the celebration, or having your guests fly into the venues on float planes.  This destination is the perfect place for adventuring couples that want to do a wedding like no other.



What’s in Your Wedding Emergency Kit?


By: Tracey Manailescu Emergency Kit from Bottles and burbs Photo: Bottles and Burbs

Bridesmaids dresses bursting at the seams, groomsmen with bad breath, an obsession with clean hands, a bride who didn’t work in the wedding shoes, don’t worry.  We’ve got this! There hasn’t been a wedding that I have coordinated, that my Emergency Kit was not used.  It is invaluable to your couple, the wedding party and to you, as a wedding coordinator. My bag has a strap on it so it can be brought everywhere that I go with ease. It has different compartments to keep things organzied,  and has a cooling bag inside of it to keep an ice pack.  The most used items in my kit are a butane lighter and band-aids.

The butane lighter is great for lighting hard to reach candles in votive holders if the Decorator leaves before they need to be lit for guests entering the reception area, and the band-aids are great for the wedding party who haven’t worked in their wedding shoes. band aids butane lighter









Here are some uses of items in Tracey M Events emergency kit: *Items may change at any given wedding

Hairspray/Static Guard: Bridesmaids dresses may cling in all of the wrong places. Spray a little static guard on the inside of the dress and, BAM, all is good! These two items seem to be interchangeable. A tip that I leaned from a dancer was to spray static guard or hairspray on the bottoms of the shoes (that don’t have treads on them) will make the soles slip proof. I used this trick for a Mother of the Groom one time, and she was freaking out. She couldn’t believe how well this worked!

Sunscreen: Sometimes couples forget to put sunscreen on before the makeup is applied, or just in general for all of those outdoor photos. Nothing worse then a sunburn:(

Evian Spray: This is great to refresh the entire wedding party! It’s also great to touch up the makeup.  Smudges and fine lines that may appear after all of that smiling and those tears of happiness. It won’t ruin the makeup and will make you picture perfect again. (Just use a q-tip or makeup pads/sponge to correct what needs to be touched up and removed.)

Advil/Tylenol: We have both for the simple fact that each does different things to different people. (*Please note that it is in original packaging, with the date of expiry clearly visable and checked before each wedding.) We can tell you we have it, take it out of our emergency kit, but then we have to place it on a flat service, unopened container, and let you open it yourself to take the Advil/Tylenol.

After Bite: We can’t stop you from getting bit or stung from all of those pesky bugs out there, but we can definitely give you some relief with After Bite spray.

Light Bulb: For Jewish weddings it is much easier to break a light bulb then to break a glass wrapped in cloth.  “Mazel tov!” We have actually had a light bulb shatter minutes before heading down the aisle at a wedding ceremony, and had to scramble to get a replacement from cleaning staff at a venue.  Now, we carry an extra, just in case :) The list goes on and on…Chances are though, it’s in our emergency kit!