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Find the Marketer in YOU!

www.wpic.ca

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.

 

 

Canadian Weddings: The ULTIMATE Destination

www.wpic.ca

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

Quebec/Ontario:

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?

www.wpic.ca

Photo:
www.avenue-photo.com

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!

Real Wedding- A & J

WPIC Cofounder, Tracey Manailescu shares a real wedding with us from her wedding planning company, Tracey M Events

*This wedding was previously featured on Event Source:

Jennifer Troietto and I had the pleasure of working with Amy & Joe on their “Night Club” themed wedding at the beautiful Winona Vine Estates. We still can’t believe how easy going and accommodating Mizzy and his staff were. A special thanks to Studio Chris for the photos. The venue was transformed inside and out by the talented Lynn Sousa & team of Classic CreationsWedding Decor. This couple’s wedding truly embodied what family, love and friendship is to us. There was so much love and happiness in every aspect of the day. Amy & Joe’s first priority was making their guests feel welcomed and beyond loved. They made sure to include their children and family in everything they did.

“Hi Tracey, I want to thank u very much for everything u have done for me!!! Sorry it’s that late but I have been crazy busy with the moving and new school and new life…Lol! Hope you guys are great and I hope to see u soon…maybe you can come for a barbeque one weekend…Xo xo xo”

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

A beautiful Romanian Orthodox ceremony, complete with chandeliers and doves took place on the grounds where the staged area was draped. They even thought to have umbrellas and fans at every chair for the sun and heat. A string trio was playing for the guests after the ceremony while the wedding party and couple went for photos.

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: Tracey's cell phone

Photo: Tracey’s cell phone

Photo: Tracey's cell phone

Photo: Tracey’s cell phone

Photo: Tracey's cell phone

Photo: Tracey’s cell phone

A&J35B

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

A&J36B

At the reception the guests were greeted by the couple and a great photo booth set up by BEN best entertainment network  at the entrance with a gorgeous blinged out 5×7 frame to keep the photos as a keepsake. A & J photobooth

Jennifer Troietto & Tracey Manailescu of Tracey M Events

Jennifer Troietto & Tracey Manailescu of Tracey M Events

When they went inside the ballroom an open bar, and a double martini luge along with a deluxe antipasto bar greeted them.

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Ummm…Did we mention the brides FAB shoes?

www.studiochris.ca

www.studiochris.ca

Live bands playing tradionional Romanian folk and modern music entertained everyone, along with a DJ playing club hits, that kept everyone on their feet all night long.

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

A bridal capture took place until the groom had to pay off the captures, two wedding dress changes, and then Brazilain Samba dancers came in and shook the place up even more.

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Guests were then asked to step outside, where sparklers were handed out for the cake cutting, and then a fireworks show amazed everyone.  This wedding was every Eastern European girls’ dream come true!

www.studiochris.ca

www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

The food was incredible and seemed never ending! Take a look at what was on the menu (these photos are only from the antipasto station):

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Deluxe antipasto bar Shopska salad Filet de sole served with chefs red pepper risotto Grilled long bone veal chop served with yukon gold, smoked gouda and bacon pave with a bundle of seasonal vegetables Platter of chicken al limone Rasberry sorbet with fresh berries Sweet table including wedding cake Fresh fruit and pastries Midnight buffet We are so happy to have been a part of Amy & Joe’s wedding. We wish them a lifetime of happiness and love!

Tracey M Events Tracey with Amy and Jow

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.

lynn fletcher lynn fletcher

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.

Bernard Callebaut f8photographyInc_-4220

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!

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

poonam

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

www.wpic.ca

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

never stop learning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Real Wedding: J + K Wed at a Villa in Negril, Jamaica

Today we have the gorgeous destination wedding of Jaclyn & Kevin, in Negril, Jamaica, for you to feast your eyes on.jackie and Kevin

wedding welccome sign

Hear the story of this wedding from Jackie & Kevin’s wedding planner, Monica Caesar, WPICC, DWC:

I first met Jackie & Kevin and it was very clear they were looking to have a destination wedding that offered an intimate setting for their family and friends that attended their wedding in Paradise. Since there were children attending the wedding, and because Kevin & Jackie wanted to take their wedding off of the resort; we had to choose a venue that would accommodate all guests while still creating a comfortable environment for the children in attendance.

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After some venue searching in Negril, I came across a gorgeous villa called “Little Waters”. This villa was stunning and offered an amazing landscape of ocean along the cliffs of Negril. We also felt that a villa would be the best venue choice since the kids could then go to sleep in the many bedrooms available on the property; while the parents were able to enjoy the wedding while dancing the night away.

Little waters on the cliff villa in negril

The ceremony took place on a customized deck area that we had built, overlooking the Caribbean sea in Negril, Jamaica. The ceremony archway included a sparkling chandelier hanging with overflowing gorgeous flowers adorning the frame. A saxophonist played as the bridal party made their way down a cobble stone sidewalk bordered in floral filled glass vases.

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Following the ceremony, a group picture took place along the cliffs of the private villa in the most spectacular setting. Cocktail hour included passed hors d’oeuvres, a cigar bar for guests and a live band to entertain everyone. Couches and ottomans were set up bordering the backyard pool and touches of coral, tied in the beach themed villa wedding.

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The reception took place under a clear tent with gorgeous chandeliers hanging above and a simple white color palette.  The setting was truly spectacular and the guests danced into the late hours of the Jamaican night including jumping into the pool while celebrating with the amazing music!

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Comments from the couple:

“We are so grateful for your expert orchestration of our wedding day in Negril, Jamaica. We consider ourselves blessed to have had the privilege of working with someone who translated our vision with such style, grace and professionalism. EVERY detail exceeded our expectations and our quests are still talking about how it was the most beautiful wedding they’d ever attended. We sincerely thank you for making our wedding day dream come true!” – Jackie & Kevin

Vendors: 
Wedding Planning & Coordination:  Monica Caesar, Aisle Plan Your Day
Photography: Merrick Cousley Photography
Make-up: Chasity Artistry
Catering: Chef Robbie Joseph, Seahorse Grill
Décor: Wedding Planner Plus
Venue: Little Waters on the Cliff Villa

About Monica Caesar & Aisle Plan Your Day

Monica Caesar is the owner and lead wedding coordinator for Aisle Plan Your Day based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Monica is certified in local & destination wedding planning through The Wedding Planners Institute of Canada. In addition to planning weddings & events worldwide; Monica is also an instructor for WPIC and teaches  and certifies wedding planners all across Canada and throughout the Caribbean and Mexico.

Aisle Plan Your Day was born out of Monica’s desire to plan unique and memorable celebrations. Weddings are her passion and destination weddings are her specialty.

Monica travels extensively throughout the Caribbean and Mexico attending conferences, reviewing hotel properties, private venues and wedding packages so that she can stay up to date with the latest industry trends and build an extensive network of top industry professionals worldwide.