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The Not-So-Glamorous Life of a Wedding Planner, PART 2

wedding planner meme

by Danielle Andrews Sunkel and a bunch of WPIC Certified Wedding Planners

One of my favorite blog posts to date is, “The Not-So-Glamorous Life of a Wedding Planner“.  WPICers told stories about their craziest and least-glamorous times on the job, so here is Part 2.

People think being a Wedding Planner is all glamour and fluff, not real work, well let us tell you about that…

I asked our WPICAlumni community, “What have you done for a couple that you never realized would be a part of being a professional wedding coordinator?”, most of us had many examples:

  • “I made several dress holders out of garbage bags so my bride could pee in private and not require anyone to hold her dress.
  • I’ve driven the couples’ grandparents home during the reception.
  • I’ve also driven a stranded bridesmaid home after a fight with her boyfriend at the wedding.
  • Cleaning a bathroom when the venue refused to because they said the guests were too messy, LOL.
  • Written the entire MC speech and program for a very reluctant MC (the couple had no idea, still don’t).
  • I cut and plated the wedding cake for 100 guests because the caterer was used to corporate events and had never cut a wedding cake.
  • Something I never thought I would have to do: fold the napkins for the entire guest list. ” -Danielle Andrews Sunkel, The Wedding Planners

“The list goes on and on, but includes:

  • Building & Staking 180 solar lights.
  • Running guests from the reception tent to the washrooms under an umbrella all night (over 200 guests and not 1 brought their own umbrella-they used the 3 I had for the whole night.)
  • Busing tables.
  • Learning how to run a generator.
  • Finding lost items in the reception site the day after the wedding.
  • Picking up garbage and beer cans from the grounds.
  • Driving to 3 different venues the day after the wedding to collect various borrowed and rented items.
  • Making 2 trips into town to buy beer, wine and water on the father of the groom’s credit card.
  • Asking guests to use the bathrooms provided and not pee 10 feet from the tent.” -Ashlie Metcalf, Harmony Wedding & Event Coordinator


  • “Helping a catering company to cut and pass out the cake (Same catering company helped me earlier to get rid of 10,762 ants that came out of the peonies in centrepieces)
  • Folding 199 napkins into pocket folds for menus (with Gaitree, LOL!) because the venue would only put them in glasses
  • Driven a photographer home from Caledon to downtown Toronto, then he asked me out for drinks…(I said no)
  • Break up a photo shoot that the MIL set up for herself, so that the couple’s individual shots could get done
  • Hidden a couple from the parents so they could practise their first dance & have a few minutes alone, & blocked the door (I ushered them outside & told the Mother I hadn’t seen them)
  • Filled toilet paper and paper towels dispenser. I had to get supplies from an upstairs room that was supposedly HAUNTED. *My assistant refused to come with me…LOL” -Tracey Manailescu, Tracey M Events


  •  “Lifted up a bride’s dress during the photo shoot to place a battery operated fan underneath her dress (over and over again as they walked) to keep her cool.
  • Drove to the bride’s family house and “broke into” the house (with the permission) to get her speech
  • Checked in on a dog ring-bearer throughout the night to make sure he had enough food/water
  • Pulled a wedgie from a bride’s bum, UNDERNEATH her dress because she couldn’t reach it
  • Set up an entire wedding tent (ceremony chairs, head table, guest tables, bar, linen, cutlery, glassware and flatware, folded 200 pocket napkins) on a farm (next to a mosquito infested marsh) with an assistant who was 5 months pregnant in the middle of July
  • Ordered 150 cheeseburgers from McDonald’s and picked them up for a late night buffet
  • Cut a wedding cake with a rubber spatula on the back patio of a venue because we were evacuated for possible building combustion (needless to say the cake looked spectacular on paper plates! LOL)
  • Drove a photographers car around downtown Toronto because he decided last minute he could capture better photos if he was on the bus with the bridal party
  • IRONED satin napkins to a fold because the bride had to have a pocket fold with her slippery satin napkins
  • Went to the MoH’s hotel room (she gave me the room number, and key) to get her speech. The key didn’t work, so I had to go to the front desk to explain what was going on, thankfully they let me in. I texted the MoH when I got there and didn’t find the speech. Found out I was in the WRONG ROOM and had gone through this person’s things! Had to go back down to the front desk to get the key for the right room. [Seriously sometimes I think I could get charged for breaking and entering.]
  • Running servers from the food tent to the reception tent with a umbrella over the food so that it stayed dry, meanwhile we were soaking wet!
  • Chased a guest outside the venue to track down rented escort card holders, table number holder and napkin rings they thought they could keep!
    Oh my gosh! There are so many!” – Kim Choy, Morganley Events

“I had to find my bride’s chihuahua that was hiding in her parents basement because she wouldn’t leave for the church without a photo of her and her dog.”  Maria Sun Dela Cruz, Envision Elegance

  • “Ordered & paid for pizza for a band because the venue didn’t want to feed them
  • Convinced party crashers they weren’t the brother of the groom at a NYE wedding at an ultra-formal wedding (crashers were white and wore jeans, groom is a family friend and Chinese)
  • Set up an entire tented wedding while 5 months pregnant … Wait, Kim already mentioned that one.
  • Ate dinner from common dishes by the light of cell phones with 4 photographers behind the backdrop.” -Erin Bosak, Erin Bosak Weddings


  • “Assembled candelabras at the venue for the centerpieces – in two hours!
  • Chiseled incorrect names off an ice sculpture for the ice cream bar .” -Alessia Velocci & Daniela Voci, aVd Events Inc.

“Having to use the Men’s room at a park wedding (not by choice)!” -Valerie Gower, The Occasion Sensation

  • “Escorted a venue security guard off the premise, as he was asking guests for food.
  • Booked a (last-minute) nail appointment for the bride as she decided to `fix`her shellac nails 2.5 hours before the ceremony. I tried to stop her, but she refused my suggestion for having my assistant and I fix her nails instead. She was willing to `sacrifice`other things for the nails…such as first look photos…
  • Confirm that there was indeed a DEAD DEER in the middle of the driving path down to the main roads.” -Phoebe Lo, Phoebe Lo Events


  • “Folded 100 Napkins in a very complicated napkin fold because the venue couldn’t.
  • Printed out menu cards for the couple because the printer messed up and put the wrong couple’s names on the menu.
  • Became ‘security’ for a couple’s mother-in-law when she attempted to cause a scene disrupting the reception introductions.
  • Cleaned up Bathrooms at a venue.
  • Stepped in as the MC when the original MC got too drunk to perform his duties.
  • Stepped in as a ‘photographer’ when the hired photographer decided to leave early.
  • Steamed table linen at a venue.  Etc. Etc. Etc. There is soo much.” -Denise Newell, WeDDings Jubilee


  • “Moved over 100 chairs for an outdoor ceremony with 2 other ladies (since the “men” asked didn’t show up)
  • got a band member to download the first dance song to play on their laptop since the person with the song didn’t have it on their phone
  • reattached fake eyelashes with a toothpick several times
  • got suckered into dancing with an old family friend of the bridal couple.
  • made a toss bouquet out of centerpiece flowers 2 mins before the bouquet toss
  • spraying a band down with bug spray as they were getting eaten alive by mosquitoes
  • protected cupcakes from being devoured while they were being set up so the couple could see them and the photographers could get photos. Guests were trying to reach around the cake makers!
  • I had to assemble 137 favors (glue lace and ribbon on jam jars and add stickers), and 2 hrs before ceremony was told flowers needed to be made out of fabric and florist wire! In 2 hours my assistant and I made flowers, boutonnieres, and made 3 bouquets. We were given limited instructions, but at least the bride had flowers to walk down the aisle with! Also had to put up a makeshift backdrop using fishing line, table runners and safety pins to hide huge grey emergency exit doors behind the head table. It was a long, hard day, but so worth it when the couple (and brides parents) told me I saved the day! ” -Amanda Kueneman, Like A Star Weddings & Events

“Running to the liquor store to replace 4 dozen bottles of wine.” -Louise Muller, Perfect Day Ventures

  • Shaving the back of the groom’s neck because he realized, while getting dressed, that it would probably look better in pictures if his hairy back didn’t merge with the hair on his head….
  • Talking the bride out of leaving the reception in the middle of dinner… in the rain, in a very muddy parking lot
  • Washing the walls at the reception venue during set-up because they were “clean enough” despite being covered in weird brown sticky stuff….
  • Combing a rather large park trying to find a rather small broach that the bride lost at some point during photos.” -All Bandry, Ally Kat Designs

“My first and last “Day of” Co-ordination, the bride told me she was DIY’ing the centrepieces and bringing them to the venue already put together. All I had to do was place them. No Problem. What she really meant was she was gonna roll in 30 min before guests arrive dump a dozen buckets of fresh flowers on me and some floral foam and wish me luck! Thank god I had my pruning sheers, wire, and floral tape in my emergency kit. ” -Arthur K., Fusion Events

  • “Climbed up a 10ft ladder at 1am to pull down 200 lanterns because the decorator couldn’t come back for the rented magnets holding the lanterns up!
  • Transport 26 table decorations (12 inches wide) in the limo bus to the venue in 40 degrees.
  • Stood out in the pouring rain waiting for the taxi to turn up from McDonald’s with 200 cheeseburgers for the night table.” -Vicky Nicholas, Perfect Planners


  • “I wrote the MOB speech welcoming the groom into the family because she didn’t know him that well.
  • Once I grabbed flowers from the bushes outside the Church for the bride and MOH when the bouquets were left in the limo that pulled away and gone…..
  • Scripting name cards for 100 guests when the bride forgot them – gotta love your calligraphy pen
  • Pay [out-of-pocket] for items that weren’t paid for
  • Babysit white doves until their release (they are really pigeons and they do strange things in that box)” -Claudia Kent, Nestleton Waters Inn


  • “I helped a maid of honour up to the bridal room cause she was [very intoxicated] and held her while she was sick.
  • One bride hated mosquitos but refused to put bug spray on… so she gave me those electric mosquito wackers that looks like a tennis racket… hahaha so I walked around all night at her outdoor wedding…wacking mosquitos LOL” -Cisilia Chan, CC Weddings & Events


  • “We too wrote an entire MC speech on the spot because he showed up with nothing prepared and thought he would just “wing it”
  • Acted as a bouncer outside a bridal suite so that the couple could have a private moment (aka get it on) before cocktails. True story – we even had to ask the one of the videographers to leave the room who was using the space to work on their same day edit that was being shown that evening.
  • Assembled two antique doors used for a ceremony backdrop onsite with a drill, hammer and nails. This was of course supposed to be dropped off assembled.
  • Had to ask a guest to leave and escorted them off the premises as she was beyond intoxicated and making a scene.” – Liz Scheniman, Gush Events


  • “Taping the ‘ladies’ into dresses
  • Cutting people off from the bar
  • Driving home stranded guests who then in turn throw up in my car
  • Cleaning up dog doodoo from the ceremony entrance prior to bride walking down the aisle at an outside location!” -Charlotte Burhoe, C Jayne Events Ltd.

“I had to wait in the parking lot at the back of the banquet hall in the middle of November, in the dark,while a truck with a vat of Portuguese soup was supposed to arrive to be served during the dinner. One of the groom’s relatives made the soup and didn’t provide enough sausage for everyone, so after having my husband (who was my assistant) carry the soup on a cart into the kitchen, I had to explain to the manager to cut the sausages into tiny pieces so that everyone got enough.. Lol.. Not to mention, the people who delivered the soup didn’t speak a word of English, so there was no asking questions of any kind..But it all worked out and the soup tasted great!! B & G were happy so thats all that matters in the end!!! ” – Malvina Pelleriti, Brilliant Weddings

“Had to pull apart the bride’s and bridesmaids bouquets and create completely new ones with the existing white flowers already in the bouquets. Bride ordered purple flowers and got everything but purple in them. It was an outdoor wedding at the venue and the bride used the venue’s florist, who went home after she made the bouquets. The bride walked in and saw the bouquets and immediately burst into tears and hyperventilation. That is the fastest I have ever made bouquets.” – Maxine Gacek, A Wedding by Maxine

“My personal favourite was putting together an entire ice cream buffet table because the caterer ‘didn’t have time’. There we were cutting up strawberries and bananas & setting out waffles bowls LOL.” -Jennifer Clark, Kiss The Bride Wedding & Event Coordination

  • Put out a fire at the church when the florist had her nephew (to save $ on have a staff member help her) light the candleabras, and set some of the fake flowers on fire
  • Cut up ALL the pies, cakes, tortes etc. at a buffet in record time as guests were lined up for dessert but the hall had no one available to cut them
  • Provide some body spray from my emergency kit for a groomsman that I caught in the bridal suite sneaking through the bridesmaids bags, looking for their deodorant (he’s a sweaty dancer lol)
  • Instead of sitting at the vendor’s table, bride had me sit at a table and police her “sketchy” cousins who were capable of stealing the venue silverware, etc.” -Candice Meier, Stages by Candice


  • Got very up close and person with a bride to get her dress to not show off some of her assets. She said, “This isn’t the first time you’ve done this is it?” (I guess I had some skills her bridesmaids didn’t to solve the problem)
  • Stop a very drunk groomsmen (numerous times) from playing a very, let’s just say sassy, video of the groom and friends at a party. I told him I couldn’t get it to work, on top of that it wasn’t a good idea.” -Amanda Douglas, Amanda Douglas Events

“A few of my most memorable:

  • I had to find seats and meals for 20+ late guests (like 2 hours late!) who also did not RSVP! And some of them wanted to sit with people they knew!
  • I helped a bride “put together” centrepieces the day before the wedding. I didn’t realize that all of the vases, candles, and rocks would still be in boxes, with stickers on them and uncleaned. It took us 4 hours!
  • I had to find and pick up a new bouquet for the bride two hours before the ceremony started because she didn’t like the one that was delivered. Thank goodness there was a florist that had enough peonies on such short notice!” -Tiffany Lue, Tiffany Events

I’m not saying we’re superheroes, but no one has ever seen a superhero and a wedding planner in the same room. ;)


Avoiding Industry Burn-out

By: Tracey Manailescu


“People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.” Dale Carnegie

Avoiding Industry Burn-out: When do you feel most inspired and passionate about the weding industry and your business? Is it after you work with a great couple?  When you meet a FAB new wedding vendor? When you attend a Conference? Don’t you wish that you could bottle that feeling and drink from it whenever you got the ho-hums? I think everyone feels the blahs once in a while.  Competition is strong, and it’s difficult, if not down-right impossible, to feel confident and creative ALL of the time.

Being in the wedding industry comes with a ton of pros and cons. A wedding is an emotional event. There is excitement, disappointment, battles of will, family interferance, money woes, power struggles and it can be exhausting to be in the middle of it all. There are trends, venues and vendors that would have made your couples wedding so much better, but maybe they’ve already signed a contract with someone else before hiring you, or maybe they’ve decided to save money on something you know will make a ton of difference in the end and have decided to not listen to your advice (like a great professional DJ, photographer or decorator.) Sometimes you have to just suck it up against your better judgement and roll with it. It can be really frustrating!

Here are some tips to help keep your head in the game: wedding planner having coffee with couple

1. Relive Happy Client Memories. Go through photos and thank you cards from past clients whom you adored. There is just something about happy memories that make you feel all warm and happy inside. You had a part in making that wedding wonderful.

sweeping leaves and flowers

2. De-Clutter. You will be amazed at things you have tucked away for future use, things you felt bad about getting rid of from events, magazines that are out-dated, and event packages where you know you will never work at. Get a new filing system, binders, folders and storage boxes that match, are modern and make your office look good. Get rid of things you do not use and will never use. Your office is a representation of you and your company. Make it work for you.  Know where things are, and have them serve a purpose, or get rid of them. De-cluttering actually creates positive energy, calm and clarity.

3. Brand Make-Over. Have your style, clients, services offered and budgets changed since you started in the wedding industry?

*Hire a professional web designer to make your site more modern, SEO compatible and user friendly. It doesn’t have to be expensive. You can even make one yourself if you know what you are doing. If you don’t, then there are tutorials to help you do it.

*Hire a photographer to get some new head shots done for your “About Me” page.

*Hire a graphic designer to create a new logo for your company. Check out Elance and 99designs

4. Update your contracts and policies. Create templates and standard information emails about your services. Create feedback forms to send out to each set of clients after the wedding. This will save you time and make way for other things that you never had time for. *Remember to have a lawyer go over any changes that you have made to your contract.

5. Change your pricing. Maybe it is time to increase your pricing, or lower it. You should know by now who you attract to your business. Do you enjoy working with couples for “Full Planning” or are you happiest with “Partial Planning” or even “Month Of” coordination? Does your pricing turn them off? Or you getting very demanding clients who expect the world from you, but it is taking too much of your energy and patience? Maybe you need to decrease your amount of clients, and increase your pricing, which would allow you to put more effort and time into your couples. Do what feels and works best for you and your company.

never stop learning

6. Learn a New Skill. Maybe you are not so great at book-keeping. Hire one or take some courses to learn how to do it better. Take a small business course, learn from the amazing people in your own community. I am humbled by all of the talent and brilliant people within WPIC who are constantly learning, growing and offering their time and energy to help us all be better. Sign up for one of their workshops, seminars or conferences. Buy one of their books or write your own!

7. Take Care of You. Join a gym, go out for weekly coffees or drinks with your friends, go on weekly/monthly date nights with your better half, get a haircut, have a kit-kat break, buy some new clothes to suit your brand, go on a vacation. Only you know what work best of you.  Go and do that.

Considerations for Hiring a Cinematographer

We are thrilled to share this beauty of an article with you! Great tips, beautiful images and talented superstars Christine & Rich are guest bloggers on our site today.

Considerations for Hiring a Cinematographer

By Christine & Rich Yodsukar, The Yodsukars

It can be difficult enough sifting through a seemingly endless list of photographers to find the perfect one for your client, but what about finding them their dream Cinematographer? Add to that the fact that Cinematographers vary across such a broad spectrum- from newbie to celebrity wedding filmmakers, and it’s no surprise one may find it challenge to pair their client with just the right fit.

Not sure what should be considered your deciding factors? Well, we have three areas of interest that you can use to talk to your client about that will help you nail down the best Cinematographer for your event.

Lauren and Louis (Click on photo to view on Vimeo)


Perhaps the first and most important thing to consider when finding the best Cinematographer for your client is their budget. Although in past years videography has traditionally cost far less than photography, times are changing, and rightly so. Some Cinematographers use very high end gear and spend days before and after the actual wedding filming footage for their edits. They tend to have a great deal of equipment due to the nature of videography, and their work can also require higher numbers of shooters. As a planner, you may want to consider asking Cinematographers for their pricing lists to have on hand. Find that some are hesitant to share? Even having a starting price on file can save you both time when qualifying prospects.


Your clients’ style is crucial to consider when finding them the perfect Cinematographer. Are they into vintage and thrift stores? Might be best to show them videographers that shoot on Super 8 film and use heavy vintage editing. Does your client want to be the star of their own hollywood blockbuster? In this case you can direct them toward a Cinematographer that shoots in a highly stylized manner, creating a film that is less about every moment of the wedding day and more about creating a compelling story on film. As with any vendor referrals, it’s always vital to have Cinematographers with a variety of styles in your arsenal to help clients better visualize their options.

Katie and Jonathon (Click on photo to view on Vimeo)


Is your client asking for video services because they want to or because their parents want them to? More traditional videographers have a very distinct style in which they usually film the entire day from start to finish with very few cuts in the footage. This is then delivered to the client just how it was filmed with no edits, except perhaps a few fades between shots and script-y titles. In short, perfect for mom and dad, but not necessarily what the couple may want.

The emerging new school of Cinematographers are creating highly edited stories that capture the essence of the couple, and feel more like you are watching movie fit for the big screen. Ultimately, it is up to your client to decide which will make them the happiest in the end.

With so many varieties of Cinematographers out there, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. By talking your client through their Budget, Style, and Taste, you will have a strong sense of who to send them to. It’s always a great idea to have a list of your preferred vendors on hand that you know and have worked with, but just remember that with so many amazing shooters out there and with ever-differing clients, it can always pay off to throw a wildcard in the bag!

Sherry and Andrew (Click on photo to view on Vimeo)

Christine and Rich Yodsukar are the power couple behind Los Angeles based Photography & Cinematography studio, The Yodsukars. They cater to luxury weddings both in the States and abroad, can be seen frequently on WEtv and OWN, and coach Photographers and Cinematographers to better their technical and business skills through their Mentoring program.

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


The Wedding Professionals Workshop

Attention all Wedding Professionals:

It’s time to get your learning on!


The Wedding Professionals Workshop is a boutique-style learning experience taking place at the Pantages Hotel & Spa.


About the Workshop:

For 7 years the producers brought you large International Conferences as “The Wedding Professionals International Conference”, in places like Turks & Caicos and The Bahamas.  Now they have shifted their focus to smaller, more boutique-style workshops.  These workshops are not just theory and fluff.  These are heavy, content-rich, learning experiences with actionable tools and skills to elevate your wedding business.

Of course you will be surrounded by beauty, but more importantly, these seminars are designed to make you dazzle. So Shine on!

Just some of the Speakers:


Diann Valentine, Laura Atentido, Jagdish Brar, Patricia Drewnowska, Meghan Ely, Sam Fleming, Michelle Garber, Carmelina Karas, Jen O’Brien, Cary Silber, Amy Stevenson, Melanie Zettler…

Some of the Topics:

  • State of The Canadian Wedding Industry
  • Who do you think you are? How to Brand Yourself for Maximum Success
  • A Trend Walk
  • How to Gain & Utilize Media
  • The Art of Design
  • WOW Factor Catering
  • The Technical Side of Events
  • Tales from Wedding Professionals- “How I achieved success in the industry”
  • and few surprises!

Get more details at

Register now!


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wedding rings

A “Must Do” Before Your Clients Say “I Do”

As wedding planners, our goal is to ensure our clients’ wedding is a milestone that will be filled with cherished memories of their “ever after.” One way we can do that is to encourage them to protect the true symbols of their love – their engagement and wedding rings – with a separate jewelry insurance policy. By mentioning Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company and its Perfect Circle® Jewelry Insurance coverage,you can help your clients live worry-free knowing their special moments and memories are being protected by the established experts in jewelry insurance since 1913.

Many people may have a standard jewelry rider on their homeowners or renters insurance, but the worldwide, comprehensive coverage* from Jewelers Mutual covers damage, loss, mysterious disappearance (unexplained loss) and even loose stones while they are being set by your jeweler, where other carriers can fall short.  In fact, Glamour Weddings recently endorsed  jewelry insurance as one of the three most important things to do to avoid major wedding mistakes.

Your clients will be surprised at how affordable jewelry insurance can be.

Rates depend on where you live. But for most people, purchasing jewelry insurance coverage from Jewelers Mutual will cost 1-2% of the value of the jewelry. For example, if your client has a $5,000 engagement ring, it could cost as little as $50 a year to protect.

In addition to worldwide, comprehensive coverage, benefits of a Jewelers Mutual policy include:

  • Same Kind and Quality: Repaired or replaced jewelry will be virtually indistinguishable from the original, especially important with name-brand jewelry.
  • Use Your Preferred Jeweler: No need for multiple estimates from various jewelers.
  • No Deductible Required: And no limits on the value of coverage.  A minimum annual policy premium is $25.
  • Automatic Coverage: Customers with an existing policy from Jewelers Mutual enjoy up to 30 days of automatic coverage (subject to a limit of up to $10,000) on any newly acquired jewelry items.
  • Exceptional Customer Service: From applying for a quote to the actual replacement and repair, Jewelers Mutual is known for putting the customer first.

What’s more, we’ve all heard stories of clients losing their rings on their honeymoon, so take the opportunity to educate them on the importance of properly protecting their rings BEFORE they take off.  And while doing so, you can share these tips to help your clients keep their jewelry safe and sound while traveling:

  • Choose wisely. Pack light and take only the jewelry you’ll wear while traveling and at your destination. The 4-carat diamond ring you save for special occasions? Probably not. The pearls that go with everything? Definitely.
  • Make a list. List all the jewelry you’ll take with you. Keep one copy with you and store it separately from your jewelry. Leave another copy at home. Also take pictures or a video of your jewelry.
  • Carry it on. Never put jewelry in checked baggage. Instead, wear it or stow it in your carryon bag. If you wear it, take extra care by slipping a pendant inside a sweater or turning your ring so only the band shows.
  • Keep it with you. Put your jewelry in a favorite bag you’ll carry while traveling. Don’t leave your jewelry in an unattended car or suitcase. When checking into your hotel or condo, don’t hand your jewelry bag to hotel staff. Carry it personally.
  • Use the safe. Always store jewelry in the in-room safe when you’re not wearing it

 Connect with Jewelers Mutual:




Would a Bride Sue her Uncle?

couple suing

By Guest Blogger, Andy Ebon, of The Wedding Marketing Blog

DIY brides are well-intentioned. I truly believe that. Money is a limitation for everyone; however, within a couple’s available funds, the bigger challenges are priorities an decision-making.
I confess that my patience with pretzel logic varies widely from day-to-day. Formal sales education taught me it was an important and noble process. A skill to help prospects move toward a good decision, benefitting them.

That perspective has served me well, over time. The key, for me, was to qualify a prospect and understand their needs. If I believed I provided a service that was a good fit for them, then I made every effort to close the sale for our mutual benefit. Conversely, it’s OK to disqualify a prospect.

Entrepreneur’s Disease

One strain of Entrepreneur’s Disease is the belief that every prospect should become a client. If you’re in business long enough, you know that feeling in the pit of your stomach that says

“I’ve got an opening on the calendar, but I might regret taking this client.”

What one does next indicates whether we have learned from prior experiences.

Going For Broke

In moments and days of impatience with brides, who were all over the map, I would sometimes use Andy’s Go For Broke negotiation strategy.

Long before the term DIY, littered the landscape, brides showed much similar irrational judgment. To me (and I stress that this is my personal and considered opinion) brides have some amount of money to spend, but they rarely have a plan about budget priorities. And THAT is the key.

There are certain critical services which just don’t lend themselves to DIY.

Sometimes after completing a booking, a new client might ask me for a vendor referral. A photographer… in this example.

A short version of the conversation might sound like:

“My uncle has offered to do the wedding photography, and I’m seriously thinking about accepting his offer. I had budgeted $1000 for a photographer, and just thought I’d ask you for a referral, just in case you knew of someone who would do it for that amount of money?”

My response might go something like this:

“Is your uncle a professional?”

(bride says ‘no’)

“May I ask you a tough question?”

(bride says ‘sure’)

“In a worst-case scenario, if the photos don’t come out, would you sue your uncle?”

(usually, seconds of silence, then ‘why would you ask me that?)

“Well, when the reception is over and the music is finished, the food is eaten, and the guests are gone, all you have is memories… the documentation of those memories is everything. Professional photographers have all the technical and creative training, AND they have the appropriate professional gear, backup gear, and backups for backup.  I can refer you to a couple of solid photographers and they will cost more than $1000. They will be worth it. And, how would your relationship be with your uncle, going forward, if the photos didn’t come out? Do you really want to take that chance?”

At that point, after the bride got over the shock of the logic, the usual response was something like…

“I never looked at it that way, but you make a fair point. It’s a bigger risk in more than one way. Besides, Uncle Harry is my favorite Uncle. I’d rather have him as a guest, and not be distracted by what might go wrong.”

From time to time, selling involves FUD – Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt…. And that’s OK, as long as it is the truth. It isn’t a technique that I employed often, but it worked more than not, because it’s an eye-opening challenge.

More important, it kept a number of brides from making some incredibly bad decisions.

When the situation dictates, don’t be scared to take a risk. You might surprise yourself.


andy-ebonAndy Ebon is an in-demand public speaker at conferences and local meetings.  Now in its second decade, Andy and EBS Virtual Communications have refocused squarely on wedding marketing and small business consultation, with the launch of The Wedding Marketing Network and its affiliated companies. With industry experience of 2000 weddings, and almost four decades of hospitality and wedding marketing, The Wedding Marketing Network promises to be yet another exciting direction for Andy Ebon.


Consider a Destination Wedding in Canada: Mont Tremblant, Quebec









By: Tracey Manailescu

Born and raised in Canada, it always amazes me what our big and beautiful country has to offer.

We have mountains, oceans, beaches, fine dining, celebrity chefs, night clubs, theatre, summer sports, winter sports, etc. Every province and territory has something unique and special to offer. For wedding couples, the possibilities are endless.

I’ve just come back from a fabulous family week’s vacation in Mont Tremblant, Quebec, and we are already planning to go back for our winter vacation. (Eeek!  The cold, winter sports and I just don’t mix. However, I am willing to give it a go.) We stayed at the Fairmont Tremblant, and  I would happily stay there again, in fact I am quite certain that we will…

I took the opportunity to request a wedding site visit (of course) with Frederic Jean, who is the Manager, Catering & Conference Services. Let’s just say, he is awesome! You cannot go wrong with the location, or the staff. It is set up, and styled, like a ski lodge. Take a look at some of the photos to see for yourself!

Frederic Jean, Manager, Catering & Conference Services

Frederic Jean, Manager, Catering & Conference Services

fairmont tremblant water view

Photo: Courtesy of Fairmont Tremblant

Photo: Courtesy of Fairmont Tremblant

MT Fairmont in activity section

Photo courtesy of Fairmont Tremblant

Photo courtesy of Fairmont Tremblant

Gorgeous place for a ceremony and/or cocktails, don't you think?

Gorgeous place for a ceremony and/or cocktails, don’t you think?

I seriously would love to work with a couple for a wedding during the winter time here, or a WPIC event.

PhotocCourtesy of Fairmont Tremblant

Photo courtesy of Fairmont Tremblant

This entire Village is beyond perfect for a wedding weekend with friends and family. It is entirely family-friendly and actually geared towards a family experience. Picture it with a hot toddy station, maple syrup on a stick, outdoor heaters and s’mores, etc.

Did I mention that the chefs are extremely creative and willing to work with most ideas that you throw at them?

Some examples of specialty items on the menus are: Abitabi Pearl Caviar, Laurentian Cheese Platter, Maple Crumble, Guinea Fowl, Deer Tataki with Horseradish & Basil, Fresh Trout Tartare with Strawberries & Black Tobiko.

Fairmont Tremblant "Chic Shack" set up on the patio

Photo courtesy of: Fairmont Tremblant -Winter “Chic Shack” set up

Want an amazing example of customer service going above and beyond?  This hand-drawn card was left in my room from Frederic. Love, love, love it!

Hand drawn note after site visit from Frederic

Hand drawn note after site visit from Frederic

Not hooked yet? Well let me show you some other things we feel in love with in Mont Tremblant. Go on and picture it with loved ones for a wedding celebration, Quebec style. There is a Catholic Church right in the Village (a 2 minute walk).

Chapelle Saint-Bernard right in the Mont Tremblant Village

Chapelle Saint-Bernard right in the Mont Tremblant Village

Chapelle Saint-Bernard right in the Mont Tremblant Village

Chapelle Saint-Bernard right in the Mont Tremblant Village

We booked some day trips directly through the Mont Tremblant website. We did the mountain luge 6 times, went hiking, swimming, rafting, horseback riding, rented a boat and went fishing on three different occasions. There is so much to do!

Imagine doing some of these things with a wedding group?

For those who want a grown-up experience, there is the Casino close by, as well as a night club and a bar, conveniently located in the Village along with pubs and fine dining. MT Collage rafting Rafting falling

We explored nearby Saint Jovite since it was the Jazz Festival. In Saint Jovite we fell in love with a restaurant called, “Antipasto“, and went to it 3 times. Heck, we tried almost everything in the Village too, between lunches and dinners.  (Next time we might get a room with a kitchenette…No, we probably won’t, but it is an option.)

MT Restaurants with patios 2

MT Restaurants with patios

MT More restaurant with fountain

Spag & Co in the Village

Spag & Co in the Village

Whether it is summer or winter, the activities and breath-taking scenery will make for amazing wedding photos and video.

*This blog is written solely on my experience in Mont Tremblant, and was not endorsed or paid in any way by the Fairmont Trembant.

Real Wedding: Seaside Hindu Wedding in Jamaica!

South Asian Wedding Jamaica WPIC

Have a look at this gorgeous seaside wedding, at a private villa in Negril, Jamaica, coordinated by WPIC Alum, Jennifer Borgh of Jennifer Borgh Events.  Jennifer has won countless awards for her Destiantion Weddings to Jamaica and a glimpse at this wedding will show you why!  This wedding and all the beautiful events were captured by Dwayne Watkins and Stephen from Team DWP Studios.

From Jennifer:
I loved every minute of planning this gorgeous seaside South Asian wedding. Reema and Tim were a pleasure to work with, as was the Maid of Honor and sister of the bride, Ritu, who was a huge part of the planning. The colours are gorgeous with the Caribbean sea as the background. This wedding was SOOOOOOO much fun and included amazing food, a lot of dancing and lots of laughs.
Hindu wedding in Jamaica
Hindu wedding in Jamaica
Hindu wedding in Jamaica
Hindu wedding in Jamaica
Hindu wedding in Jamaica
Hindu wedding in Jamaica
Hindu wedding in Jamaica
Hindu wedding in Jamaica
Hindu wedding in Jamaica
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From the bride:
I wanted to thank you for all of your help. Everything turned out amazing! The long nights and emails back and forth of planning definitely paid off. I was happy with the outcome as words cannot explain how happy Tim and I were. Everyone had an amazing time and great experience. You did a great job and I will refer you to friends and family.
Thank you again for all your help on planning my dream wedding.
Keep in touch,

*Be sure to check out the photos from the guests’ cliff diving, catamaran cruise and the Batna & Choora on the Photographer’s Blog*

Wedding Planner (in Toronto and on-site in Jamaica): Jennifer Borgh Events
Travel: Travel Only by Jennifer Borgh
Venue: Little Waters on the Cliff
Photography:  Dwayne and Stephen MacFarlane from Team DWP Studios

About Jennifer Borgh:

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

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