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Wedding Planning Client Welcome Kits

wedding Client Welcome kit

Photo by

Photo by

by Danielle Andrews Sunkel

Once the contract for Wedding Coordination services has been signed and the Initial Payment has been made, it is time to present your clients with their Personalized Wedding Planning Timeline.  Why not give it to them in a little Welcome Kit?

I made the one above using a white craft box, tissue paper, macarons, wine* and a personalized thank you card.

A few years ago, I made a batch of Bottle-your-own wine* and put “The Wedding Planners” labels on them.  They served as Christmas and Welcome gifts.

Here are a few ideas of what to include in Welcome Kits:

  • Mugs
  • Specialty teas
  • Specialty coffee
  • Hot chocolate with
  • Little bottles of liquor*
  • Dram of Champagne
  • If its going to be a Destination Wedding you can give flip flops or beach towels in a beach bag
  • A box of good Chocolates
  • A good wedding agenda/planner
  • Candies in a cute tin
  • Cookies
  • Two cupcakes
  • Popcorn
  • A scented candle
  • Wedding magazine
  • Cocktail-making set with recipe
  • Wine stoppers

*Be sure to check local laws and ordinances before giving alcohol as gifts.

Make sure you do lots of branding for your company by have your logo on the Timeline, pens, stickers, printed Thank You cards, mugs, etc.

Do you give your clients Welcome Kits?  What do you put in yours?

The tag reads: Krista & Mark, We'll have so much fun, planning your wedding in the sun! Danielle

The tag reads:
Krista & Mark,
We’ll have so much fun, planning your wedding in the sun!

Fall on Martha’s Vineyard – Inspiration Shoot

Photo: Lucky Girl

Photo: Lucky Girl

We adore the style of Amanda Douglas, WPICC of Amanda Douglas Events in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and are always giddy when she submits styled shoots or real weddings to us for publication.  They are always understated, thoughtfully crafted and unique.

Today we are happy to share this fall inspiration shoot with you.

Fall on Martha’s Vineyard – Inspiration Shoot

From Amanda: Fall is such a romantic time of year. We planned this shoot with quiet elegance as inspiration and our mind dreaming about fall on Martha’s Vineyard.
We were asked to do a spot for Global Winnipeg on fall decor and decided to turn it into a little photo shoot, too (why not right?).
When we think about thanksgiving or a warm meal shared around the family table we think of something a bit like this:
Ok, maybe this is a bit fancy for your typical family dinner, but let’s dream a little that all family dinners are this chic.
Fall weddings are a magical scene.  Sometimes fall is a bit of a tricker time of year for brides and they might lean a little too far into what’s commercially out there for fall themed weddings.
We wanted to put together a design that was just the right amount of warm fall colours but with a good measure of elegance and class, too.
Watching the leaves change colour is part of the magic of fall and we loved how the florals include the beautiful yellow orange leaves of autumn. They couldn’t have been paired better with the rest of the flowers. Our favourite was the stunning orchids that just put this floral piece over the top with elegance.
We finished off the table design with brass pieces (those cranes right?), gold cutlery, rich and dark teal goblets, rose gold mercury glass candles (as many as we could) and one of our favourites; bees wax candles.
And of course a table isn’t complete without beautiful and welcoming personalized stationery. In this case, menus and place cards at each table setting.
With five days notice (tv deadlines!) we pulled this shoot together with the help of a seriously splendid group of vendors:
Photographer – Lucky Girl Photography 
Stylist/Design – Amanda Douglas Events 
Flowers – Beyond Flowers
Stationery – Keeks Paper Co.
Linens/Chairs – Planned Perfectly 
Jewelry/Fur – Amanda Douglas Events 
If you want to see our little tv spot on how to decorate your table for fall:

Food Stations are going Vertical

donut wall


by Danielle Andrews Sunkel

We are often asked about the newest wedding trends.  Well, here is one we love.

Spoon wall


Cocktail Stations are soaring to new heights, literally. Rather than having their hors d’ouevres passed, or set out on a table, couples are taking their cocktail station vertical with drink and food walls!

Beer Wall at Wedding


The couple can make their feature wall a DIY project like the beer wall above, or you can direct them to a company that rents spoon walls or acrylic peg boards. Many caterers also carry the food walls.

Patron Wall


A trend that involves food and fun, how can you go wrong?

WPIC Office Table Design Challenge

One Table, Three Looks

One Table, Three Looks

We decided to have some fun and have a ‘WPIC Office Tables Design Challenge”.

The rules were simple:

  1. Each person had to use the same chairs, table, glass and silverware.
  2. Each person was assigned a coloured chair flower to build their table design around.
  3. A budget of $150 to make that vision come to life.


The wonderful Rohan Laylor, of Phat Dog Visuals, agreed to let us take over his gorgeous studio in Toronto for our design challenge and he documented the whole day for us.  We had so much fun.

Now we need you to choose the winner of our challenge!

So here are the designs, we won’t reveal who is behind each one until a winner has been decided.  Check out the designs and tell us in the comments which table design is your favourite.

Table 1: Pink Flower

Chair Flower: CV Linens
Mosaic Vases: Homesense
Small Vases: Michaels
Florals: Costco
Servingware, Crystal and Silverware: Chairman Mills
Table Linen: The Linen Closet
Chairs: Detailz Couture
Photographer: Phat Dog Visuals

blue and pink wedding

Pink and Turquoise wedding table

blue and pink tablescape blue and pink wedding table

pink and blue wedding

champagne glasses pink champagne

Pink and turquoise wedding table

Table 2: Ivory Flower

Chair Flower: CV Linens
Pillows and Napkins: Homesense
Crystal and Silverware: Chairman Mills
Props: Value Village
Florals: Michaels
Table Linen: The Linen Closet
Chairs: Detailz Couture
Photographer: Phat Dog Visuals

ebony and ivory wedding

black and gold vase on chair


menu card



white chair flower

Table 3: Yellow Flower

Chair Flower: CV Linens
Florals: Costco
Silverware: Chairman Mills
Plates: Kitchen Stuff Plus
Napkins, Table Runner, Glassware: Homesense
Table Linen: The Linen Closet
Chairs: Detailz Couture
Photographer: Phat Dog Visuals

yellow and blue wedding

blue and yellow tablescape

blue and yellow wedding table blue and yellow wedding table

yellow and blue wedding

blue and yellow wedding

blue and yellow table

We need you to choose the winner of our challenge!

Tell us in the comments which table design is your favourite.

The Importance of Wedding Keepsakes

Photo by Dave Abreu

Photo by Dave Abreu Photography

by Mary Pattison, of Love Letters by Elite Designs Co.

I’ve been married for over 20 years and while I’d choose the same wonderful man I would love a wedding “do over”. The elegance and thoughtfulness that is put into every detail of a wedding these days is absolutely breathtaking.  My favourite trend is the way that weddings today reflect the couple.

“Couples want to personalize everything…” Tracey Manailescu, Tracey M Events

Shopped A with chandeliere on leftApart from making it so much more enjoyable for everyone, the brilliance inherent in this trend is that after the big day there are things that a couple can take home as a keepsake.

It takes a lot of effort not just ‘zone out’ after 20+ years in any relationship. Although I’m not a tchotchke kinda girl I do find that it helps to have a few things on display that remind me of one of our happiest days together. For me it’s a funny candid photo of us on our wedding day that I keep on my bedroom dresser and a piece of driftwood from the beach where we got engaged that sits in our front garden as our love totem.

Fortunately couples today have many more elegant options for incorporating personalized elements into their wedding that can transition into their marriage afterwards. I now own a small business that makes Swarovski crystallized monograms for wedding décor and I recently spent a lot of time taking photos showing how these beautiful pieces can transition into home décor afterwards. While I was doing this to demonstrate the added value of our product it dawned on me that the greatest value of any keepsake in our lives is to provide a gentle reminder to celebrate each other long after the excitement of the wedding gives way to the comfort of every day – and you can’t put a price on that!


  1. A couple’s monogram adds a uniquely personal touch of elegance and Love Letters offers a choice of traditional script or more contemporary block fonts.
  2. Nothing sparkles like Swarovski crystals and Love Letters can be ordered in over 25 colours.
  3. Even a rustic wedding will benefit from a subtle touch of crystal for contrast.
  4. Love Letters add a beautiful and elegant touch to a couple’s home décor after the wedding day.
  5. Love Letters can custom design any word or saying and fully or partially crystallize it to match your budget.

Love your life.

XO, Mary


The custom WPIC Logo sign that Love Letters created with over 2,000 Swarovski crystals!

Mary Pattison owns Love Letters. What started as a simple cake topper business in 2012 has evolved into a gift and décor company capable of creating much larger pieces for dramatic backdrops, elegant curtain ties backs, freestanding table décor or floral embellishments and  every piece is still lovingly crafted in with the hope that these letters will be treasured and incorporated into a couple’s home as a reminder of this joyful time in their lives for years to come.

Rose and Gold Styled Wedding Shoot

It’s rare that vendors get featured in a styled shoot, so it is fun to see some working shots in the mix of these stylized photos.


The initial theme development of this soft rose and gold cake table stylized shoot is accredited to lead design coordinators of Events by Whim, Alisha Chadee and Michelle Brijlal. The increasingly popular trend of this color combination originally inspired this shoot. The style shoot was produced in a park setting at Ashbridge’s Bay in Toronto.


rose and gold wedding table outdoors

Three midsized floral arrangements and one larger show stopping arrangement with hydrangeas, blush and purple roses as the focus graced the table, as well as a stunning 3-tiered cake with handcrafted and hand-painted sugar flowers. Gold votives and pearls finished the look and completed the table.

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The gorgeous cake was provided by Sonia of Sinfully Sweet by Sonia J. Her attention to detail in designing this stunning cake was nothing short of sensational, as she managed to capture the softness, femininity and beauty of this delicate theme perfectly.


There were two different set ups in total. The first one featured a rose-coloured satin tablecloth with a blush pink lace overlay. The second included a white satin table cloth with two sequined blush table runners laid on top, and draped down the sides.



The floral arrangements were displayed on elevated brushed gold stands and placed on the table to complement the positioning of the cake, which was also placed on a gold cake stand. Design coordinators Alisha and Michelle used small mercury gold votives filled with pearls as tapered candle holders, and placed them between the flowers and cake to portray. The greenery in the floral display brought to mind a rose garden, while the gold and pearl accents created a dreamy, soft cake table.




Planning, Décor & Coordination: Whim Event Coordination and Design
Photography: Thomas Zitnansky
Cake: Sinfully Sweet by Sonia J
Floral Arrangements: Therese Guidolin Designs
Hair and Makeup: Sonia Kang Artistry
Location: Ashbridge’s Bay, Toronto


What’s in Your 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, your 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!

The 5 Most Popular Wedding Flowers for 2015

2015 wedding flowers

Photo Source:

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:


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



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:


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

Photo Source:

Photo Source:


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

Photo by

Photo by


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

Photo by


WPIC 2014 Year in Review

From the WPIC Co-founders, Tracey Manailescu & Danielle Andrews Sunkel

Photo by at the Shelborne Wyndham Grand in Miami

Photo by at the Shelborne Wyndham Grand in Miami

Each year, we provide a re-cap of all that has happened in the world of WPIC, and there is always a lot.  2014 was no exception.

WPIC & WPIC Alumni in the Media

WPIC Wedding Trends Todays Bride articleWe are so proud of our WPIC Alumni.  From awards, magazine features, television shows and news spots, they have received so many accolades and an amazing amount media attention this year.  Here are just a few highlights as we can’t possibly fit all of the accomplishments of our many alumni in this post:

Parlez-vous Française? Hablas Español?

francaise espanolWe had our wedding planner course translated into French and Spanish to better accommodate our international students.  More languages will be coming shortly.

Nous avons eu le programme de planificateur de mariage traduit en français pour mieux accueillir nos étudiants internationaux.

Teníamos nuestro programa planificador de la boda traducido al español para acomodar mejor a nuestros estudiantes internacionales.

Speaking Engagements

In The Nation Newspaper for the our speaking engagement at the Forever I Do show in Barbados

This year we spoke at international wedding conferences, conventions and symposiums including:

  • The Mississauga Total Wedding Show “Tips for Planning a Great Wedding”
  • Forever I Do in Barbados about “Planning the Perfect Wedding”
  • Wedding MBA in Las Vegas about “International Wedding Trends”
  • The Jamaica Wedding Professionals Conference in Montego Bay, Jamaica, where we delivered two seminars about, “International Wedding Trends” and “Practices of Successful Wedding Professionals.”  

WPIC Events

There were tons of learning and networking opportunities provided to WPIC Alumni through out the year:

WPIC Adminsitration Change

www.wpic.caWe have had big changes within the WPIC administration office, we said “Goodbye” to, Kim Choy, who has moved on to a wonderful position as Event Co-ordinator for another company, and said “Welcome” to our new Office Manager, Kaley Campbell.

Kim was with us for over 5 years, since she was an intern at WPIC Inc.  Her full-time start coincided perfectly with our move to our head offices in Markham, so it felt like she was with us from our new beginning.

We had 427 applications for Kim’s job!  We went over each resume with a fine-toothed combed, narrowed the applicants to 10 interviews and when it felt like we were not going to find that “perfect fit”, we got one more resume.  We were impressed by Kaley’s experience as an Adminstration Assistant and her degree in Marketing.  When we met her, we knew her go-getter, bubbly personality was perfect!  After checking her references (as soon as she left our interview), we hired her within the hour.

Kaley fit in quickly and has already worked on a conference and accompanied Danielle to Mexico to represent WPIC!

In 2015, we are looking forward to providing opportunities and supporting alumni who are willing to constantly better themselves.  We never stop learning, improving, and reinventing ourselves and WPIC as the market demands.  We truly believe that the best way to keep the wedding industry strong, is to share knowledge and best practices so that ALL wedding professionals are properly educated.  We are stronger and better when we work together.

We wish you nothing but success!
Danielle & Tracey

Weddings on the High Seas – Carnival Cruise Ship Weddings


by Danielle Andrews Sunkel

I recently had the opportunity to learn about weddings aboard Carnival Cruise Ships first hand, on a family trip aboard the Carnival Glory.

Disclaimer: This trip was not paid for by Carnival Cruise lines, I am just reporting my findings from a personal trip. 😉

One thing I love that Carnival Cruise Line offers, is the room decorating.  Your couple can have all of their guests’ rooms decorated for Debarkation (like Lynn St. Jean, of Carnival Cruise Line, surprised my kids with):

carnival decor1

or if one of the guests is celebrating a special occasion.  I got our room decorated for my husband’s birthday, complete with a chocolate gluten-free cake:

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Having a cruise ship weddig means that you get to enjoy 4-7 days with all of your guests rather than just one night.  You get to visit multiple ports and there is no shortage of fun for every one at every adventure level.

shipboard-weddings-1 jpg

You are also guaranteed a gourmet meal every night.  You and your guests can choose whether you want to spend a little time together, or all your time.

shipboard-weddings-18 jpg

You can choose to have your wedding on the boat or in one of the ports, but remember, Cruise ship weddings have unique challenges:

  • what if there is bad weather and the ship can not dock in the location your couple bought their wedding license?
  • Ship Time and Local Time are two very different things, you must always run “Ship Time” if you don’t want to miss the boat, literally! That can make scheduling tricky as you need to always keep the two times in mind when booking vendors and making arrangements for the wedding.
  • How do you get around 24-72 hour residency requirements? (Many Caribbean islands have special circumstance licenses that can be purchased for cruise ship weddings but these must be arranged and paid for well in advance of the wedding)

If the wedding is taking place on the boat, keep in mind:

  • no outside professional photographers will be allowed
  • the couple can not provide their own cake server and knife (considered a weapon)
  • the couple can not bring on/take off any flowers in any of the ports (so the bride won’t get to keep her bouquet)
  • fresh flower petals, bird seed, confetti, etc may not be used
  • no outside food or drink is allowed on the ship (that includes favours, alcohol, candy, cake, etc)
  • the boat must be docked (and the marriage license be for that port) in order for the ceremony to take place

shipboard-weddings-14 jpg

shipboard-weddings-11 jpg

Carnival has 5 different Wedding Packages available:

carnival wedding packages