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Wedding Trends -April WPIC Get Together

By: Tracey Manailescu

Tracey Manailescu

Photo by www.Avenue-Photo.ca

On Wednesday, April 9th, 2014 WPIC held a get together on Wedding Trends for 2014 at the beautiful St. George’s Golf & Country Club.

The entire event was planned and executed by WPIC’s intern, Urszula Matczak. This is no easy task, as one might imagine, and she did it with flair and grace. (Especially considering her target audience and attendees were fifty wedding planners…)

*A special thank you to our WPIC volunteers, Cindy He and Nazreen Faiz, who managed the registration table and the raffle draw.

Some of the highlights of the evening were a strolling fashion show, a trade show to meet and greet all of the vendors who particpated at the event, musical talent by the wonderful harpist Joanna Jordan, and a panel discussion about 2014 wedding trends.

The entire evening was captured on film by Enrique DeCordova Photography.

We had amazing food and service provided by St. George’s Golf & Country Club. Guess what?  The Catering and Events Manager, Jacqueline Lambert, just happens to be WPICC.  Go figure ;)

Some highlights of St. George’s Golf & Country Club:

  • Ample free parking
  • Award winning cuisine fom the Chef and his culinary team
  • Sommelier to suggest wine pairings for your courses
  • A large selection of late night stations
  • Beautiful views of the Award Winning Golf Course and the historic 1920’s Club House is stunning

 

 

www.wpic.ca

www.decordova.ca   Our wonderful volunteers, Cindy and Nazreen

 

 

 

 

Contributing Awesome Vendors:

Venue: St. George’s Golf and Country Club
Photography: Enrique Decordova Photography
Tuxedos: Andrew’s Formals
Wedding Cakes: Le Dolci
Linens & Florals: Susan Murray Luxury Linen and Decor Reatals
Harpist: Joanna Jordan Electric Harpist
Wedding Dresses: She’s So Beautiful Bridal Boutique
Hair & Makeup: Aglow By Joan – Hair And Makeup

Thank you to everyone who participated in the trade show and panel, and thank you to our wonderful WPIC Alumni  who came out to network & learn.

We hope that enjoyed the evening!

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Keeping Children Happy at Your Wedding (An Interview With Children & Alumni)

By: Tracey Manailescu

Tracey M Events
Photo: Avenue Photo

I had so much fun putting this blog together:)  How could I not?  I interviewed 13 adorable children to get their opinions of what couples can do to make a wedding better for them, and then asked WPIC Alumni to share some of their favourite stories about working with children.

www.traceymevents.cawww.traceymevents.caSophia, 6 & Ella 4 (almost 5)Audrey, 3 (almost 4)
  Alexandros,  5                Brooklynn, 7            Sophia, 6 & Ella 4             Audrey, 3
Julian, 4Joelle, 10Brayden, 11Sierra, 6
Julian, 4                     Joelle, 10                Brayden, 11                     Sierra, 6
Daniel, 15Nicole, 10Graydon, 5www.traceymevents.ca
Daniel, 15               Nicole, 10                  Graydon, 5                     Samara, 7

 

What did you think about the CEREMONY?

“Wedding was good. A little fun.” -Julian, 4

“It was kind of boring, because it was just them talking about those people getting married.” -Nicole, 10

“It was boring, but it was nice to see them get married.” -Daniel, 15

“Uncle Greg’s wedding -  I liked that it was short and didn’t cut the time for the party and the eating and stuff.” -Joelle, 10

“Lots of people were there, and I couldn’t hear Mommy when lots of people talked so much.” -Audrey, 3 (almost 4)

“I was bored.” -Sierra, 6

“It was pretty cool. Just a little bit boring.” -Brayden, 11

“It was okay, I like the second part better. (The reception)”-Ella, 6

“Ceremony? What’s that? (I explain) Oh, my favorite part was when the prince and the princess kissed.” -Sophia, 4 (almost 5)

“It was good but I didn’t like that we were just sitting around watching.” -Alexandros, 5

“It was fun just watching them get married and the beautiful bride walking down the aisle in a beautiful dress.” -Brooklynn, 7

“It was really wet outside so they stopped talking and we got to take our shoes off.” -Graydon, 5

“It was okay?” -Samara, 7

 

What is your BEST memory of a wedding that you have attended?

“Dancing with the bride.” -Julian, 4

“Dancing!” -Nicole, 10

“The dancing and the food, especially the broccoli soup.” Daniel, 15

“Dancing with my aunt and uncle at their wedding and seeing all my cousins that I hadn’t seen in ages” -Joelle, 10

“When everyone stopped talking.” -Audrey, 3 (almost 4)

“That like, um, we went to a big thing and it had lots of food. Something that you went in, like a mansion or something. ” -Sierra, 6

“It was probably when the music went on, and everybody started dancing.” -Brayden, 11

“I loved it when they were cutting the cake and feeding it to eachother. I liked the music too, and dancing, and getting dressed up very fancy with my butterfly bracelet.” -Ella, 6

“I remember dancing with daddy on his toes. That was fun. I liked the food too…it keeps coming and coming and coming. And I really liked the cake. Cake is my favorite. I like cake.” -Sophia, 4 (almost 5)

“My favourite part was when we were eating our dinner, and dancing with Theia Liz (the Bride) and I love when we were allowed to run around!” -Alexandros, 5

“Dancing with my cousin Sierra because we could then show off our dance moves.” -Brooklynn, 7

“Dancing! I got to wear tap shoes!” -Graydon, 5

“I got to wear my princess dress.” -Samara, 7

 

What is your WORST memory of a wedding that you have attended?

“I liked everything.” -Julian, 4

“Ceremony.” -Nicole, 10

“It was all nice.” -Daniel, 15

“Showing up with a pom pom hairstyle that made me look like smaller version of mini mouse!” -Joelle, 10 *Message from mom: “Her hair was straightened the day before and should have just been blow dried and flat ironed on the wedding day but she decided to wash it in the shower about two hours before the wedding and I certainly did not have the time to do it completely over so my sister gave her poufs!

“When everyone kept running. All the kids were running too fast, but I wasn’t running. I was just walking.” -Audrey, 3 (almost 4)

“We had to sit down and wait for the wedding girl and the wedding man to come out. ” -Sierra, 6

“Probably when we all had to sit down, and everbody had to listen to those really long speeches.  It was really boring! ” -Brayden, 11

“Those people who were talking and talking and talking…and talking! I had to be quiet for too long!” (Referring to the speeches) -Ella, 6

“I didn’t want chicken fingers and french fries! Huhhhh!  I wanted what the big people had (flaring hands)!” -Sophia, 4 (almost 5)

“Just the sitting around at the church because it was so boring. It made me need to go to the washroom….that’s how long it took…” -Alexandros, 5

“When you don’t like the food or dessert, I was hungry by the end of the night.” -Brooklynn, 7

“The adults dancing. It freaks me out.” -Graydon, 5

“Eating the bad food.” -Samara, 7

 

What could the couple have done to make it more FUN for you?

“Have a jumping castle.” -Julian, 4

“Nothing.” -Nicole, 10

“There is nothing I can say bad about it!” -Daniel, 15

“They could have played some more kid friendly music at the reception because it was all adult Jamaican music that I didn’t know so much.” -Joelle, 10

“When the grownups didn’t have to tell their kids to not run at ‘meetings’.” -Audrey, 3 (almost 4)

“I would say put ice cream in the wedding. ” -Sierra, 6

“Certain place like a small room where smaller kids go, when speeches start or where we had to sit down for a long time. ” -Brayden, 11

“Remember when I was trying to catch those flowers? Maybe it could be a candy bouquet instead!” -Ella, 6

“Maybe a bouncy castle?” -Sophia, 4 (amost 5)

“Put play things near the dance floor so the kids can play with toys.” -Alexandros, 5

“Add a play place (bouncy castle) so all the kids could have fun together.” -Brooklynn, 7

“Make it a skylanders party with a skylanders cake” -Graydon, 5

“Have another wedding – so I could wear another dress.” -Samara, 7

 

Did you get in TROUBLE at the wedding?

“No trouble.” -Julian, 4

“No. Ummm…Wait.  Yeah, because we went upstairs. The people that worked there told us to come down.” -Nicole, 10

“No!  I don’t think so…” -Daniel, 15

“No.” -Joelle, 10

“No. I was a good girl, because I am a big girl. And I didn’t touch stuff, like the cake, but it wasn’t for a birthday.” -Audrey, 3 (almost 4)

“No!” -Sierra, 6

“No. ” -Brayden, 11

” NO! Hmmmm, nope.” -Ella, 6

“Well, just once when I dropped the kneeling thing in the church. It made a loud noise. But it wasn’t my fault.” -Sophia, 4 (almost 5)

“Actually, No!” -Alexandros, 5

“No.” -Brooklynn, 7

“Why did I get in trouble?!!” -Graydon, 5

“No.” -Samara, 7

 

Would you go to another WEDDING?

“No. I’d rather go to a playground, or toy store.” -Julian, 4

“Yeah!” -Nicole, 10

“Of course.  There’s a lot of good food and dancing.” -Daniel 15

“Yes I would, because weddings are very fun, and if I had the chance to go to another one, I would.” -Joelle, 10

“No. Just one. Because my friend Aleta (imaginary friend) doesn’t want to go.” -Audrey, 3 (almost 4)

“Yeah.” -Sierra, 6

“Yeah.” -Brayden, 11

“Yes! Weddings are my favorite!” -Ella, 6

“Yes!! Why are you asking me all these questions? Are we going today?” -Sophia, 4 (almost 5)

“I actually would. Only if it is my wedding….oh…or, if it’s people I know!” -Alexandros, 5

“Yes.” -Brooklynn, 7

“No.” -Graydon, 5

“Yes, are you getting married?!!” -Samara, 7

Blog children at weddings

Couples stress endlessly about how to make their wedding different than anyone else’s and yet, somehow forget the little things…the children they invite :)  Children can be your worst critics or your biggest cheering squad, depending on how things are handled. It is really not difficult…

Keep them entertained, keep their hands busy and give them something to look forward to. Really, it is that simple!

Blog Ring_Bearer_Gift

Children want a children’s menu. You could be the “coolest adult ever” with a children’s buffet (Pizza, chicken fingers, hamburgers, hot dogs, taco station, build your own nachos, pasta, jello, ice cream sundae station, etc.)

Blog Children eating

If you want an adults-only reception, why not offer optional childcare for your guests? There are many professional babysitting companies for hire around the world. The cost is usually about $15-$25 per hour, per sitter. Check if your wedding venue has a separate room where the kids can hang out with pizza, movies, popcorn, craft stations, X-Box, etc.  Or, set them up in a hotel room where some of the guests are staying.

Children at weddings sneaking cake

Now for some cute and entertaining stories from some of our WPIC Alumni:

“I had a wedding that a total of 8 kids in the bridal party! The original plan was for them to walk 2 at a time down the aisle, but the bride knew that kids will be kids and just to let them do their thing. Well the first three pairs started down the aisle, then the first set of boys realized that the youngest girls were starting and ran all the way back down the aisle. This caused all the kids to run right back to the very start, and they all then proceeded to race to the altar. The guests absolutely loved it!” -Melissa Gurley of Gurley Events

“For my own wedding I was walking hand in hand down the aisle with my 22 month old daughter and she decided to b-line; so there I was chasing after her! We finally got back on track and then 2 minutes after the ceremony was over (in the Turks & Caicos heat) she decided she was NOT going to wear her fluffy tulle dress anymore! All of our wedding pictures showcase her in a diaper with sweaty curly hair. You just have to roll with it.”
-Ashlie Metcalf of Harmony Wedding & Event Coordination

“I worked with a lovely family a few years back. The flower girl threw a hissy fit just as she was about to walk down the aisle. She didn’t want to walk down the aisle with her Mum, with any of the bridesmaids, or with the bride! Who does she want to walk down the aisle with her? ME! The Wedding Coordinator! Needless to say, it was cute and fun. She made it down the aisle in one piece, and with no tears.” -Christina Spring of  A La Carte Event Management

“I love when there are kids at the wedding and in the wedding party – they add memories.  There’s been a few “cute” photo ops too… in the church a guest’s child was lying in the aisle while the ceremony was going on and he was watching the fans on the ceiling, and entertaining himself for the hour ceremony. The best one was when an out of province B&G got married in Collingwood and when I asked they said kids were invited BUT that during the dinner and speeches they would be having their own party (which we also set up and had 3 sitters with them – their ages ranged from 3 months – 10 years old about 8 of them)  After the first dance the kids came back and we had the sitters choreograph a dance for the B&G – WE made a BIG fuss over it with a huge introduction and lights and loud music on their entrance and then they all danced for the B&G ….. It brought tears to the Bride’s eyes and made this wedding which was more than 4 years ago a very memorable one for not only me and my team but all the guests.  Small miracles BIG BIG MEMORIES!” -Debbie Savic of Fresh Occasion Coordination

“At my brother’s wedding, our nephew, who was 2 at the time, was the junior groomsman. I gave him and the junior bridesmaid a little nudge to get them started, and the walk up the aisle went well for the first few feet, and then he wanted to come back to me instead of walking up to his Mom like we rehearsed. It turns out he had put his toy helicopter in the pocket of my dress, and wanted it with him. Once he had it, he ran to the junior bridesmaid, and happily walked up the aisle holding her hand with the helicopter in the other hand.” Erin Bosak of Erin Bosak Events

“My sister’s wedding, our nephew (5 at the time) was a holy terror. He refused to go down the aisle, and his dad ended up carrying him down – kicking and screaming all the way. He finally calmed down when he joined the rest of the bridal party… but he became the star of the show and added tons of cute “awwwwws” and giggles to an otherwise dull ceremony! Kids make the best entertainment!” -Sharon Kawano of Kawano Decor & Design

“The couple’s 5 y o nephew was the ring bearer.  He got up & said he wanted to sing a song for the bride and groom.  We turned off the music & the boy belted out this country song for the bride & groom to dance to.  I thought he was going to sing a couple lines, but nope, he sang the whole song & insisted everyone dance while he sang.  It wasn’t planned & was really cute.” -Danielle Andrews Sunkel of The Wedding Planners

“My brother/sister-in-law wanted my 3 year old daughter in their wedding. She did great at getting down the aisle, sitting quietly through the ceremony but afterwards when pictures were to be taken – she was done. She has the “evil eye/I’m gonna kill” look in all the wedding pictures. She didn’t want to be in them & made sure we’ll remember that day always. LOL!” -Nicole Marshall of Beautifully Planned Weddings & Events

 

 

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WPIC Planner of the Month -Bernadette Sousa

Interviewed by: Tracey Manailescu
WPIC Planner of the Month: Bernadette Sousa of Serendipity & Co. Inc.
Photo: jcpimentel.com

Photo: jcpimentel.com

We are so proud and happy to share Bernadette Sousa’s story with you.  Bernadette is a WPIC graduate and has some incredibly exciting news to share.  She is celebrating her 100th wedding with her company,  Serendipity & Co. Inc.
A huge and heartfelt congratulations to you and your team, Bernadette :)
Most challenging aspect of starting your business?

The most challenging aspect  I had to overcome in starting up my business was the fact that I had been suffering from fibromyalgia for quite some time and was unsure on the toll this business would take on me.  I had been a stay at home mom for about 18 years and starting this  hobby business, balancing out family and clients was definitely going to be a new challenge for me. Thankfully with the help of my awesome assistants and having the flexibility with the hours and days that I work, I have found the way to balance it all.

Bernadette single
When was your moment when you truly felt you made your company successful?
I measure ” success” by my client base and not by profit margin, after all I was about to launch into this business for the passion of it. I also realize that success can come and go, some years you may have many weddings on the books yet the following year not so much. I live by the motto of ” you’re only as good as your last wedding” However, with that being said, there’s been a few key moments where it sinks in that Serendipity & Co really has become a recognizable wedding planning company.  First in January 2013 when two of my weddings were featured in Elegant Wedding Magazine! Last November when I realized that 2014 would be the year I would celebrate 100 weddings and launched my ” Who will be our 100th Bride” contest.  Most recently during a wedding show, while standing at my booth, several Brides-to-be approaching me and asking me if I was Bernadette of Serendipity, followed by the ” oh my god! I have to have you at my wedding!”
 
How many staff do you currently have?
I now have 8 girls on staff. 6 fully trained, 2 interns and 4 out of the 8 are WPIC certified. Ideally I will be working towards having all my assistants  become WPICC!
Best moments/memories from one or more wedding(s)?
I have truly been blessed with so many wonderful memories over the course of the past 7 years. But a few that stand out. The wedding of Sarah and Victor in August 2012. Portuguese Songstress ( as I like to call her) with California boy! Sarah very well known in the Portuguese community with a wedding that would be covered by the Portuguese media  The whole day was pretty much a dream. Despite how many weddings I had already planned or coordinated, I was wowed by the hour. Her special Tribute to her deceased Father. Standing in the middle of the dance floor, holding her mother’s hand while listening to a song she recorded as a little girl with her mother and looking over at each of the 4  projection screens where images of her Father looped. Then dancing with 4 key male figures in her life.  That moment was spectacular!
Another moment where I just felt so proud to be a part of it was when another one of my Bride’s who is a performer, wrote and performed a song to her ailing father as he sat is his wheelchair. The amount of love felt in that room, not a dry eye to be found.
As a whole, every one of my weddings has had an ” unforgettable moment” be it with their vows, their first dance as the Groom serenades his Bride…Speeches…All I can say is I love my job and wouldn’t change anything!
Photo: JulianMoniz.com

Photo: JulianMoniz.com

Please tell us some things you have learned over the years that have helped you grow?
Although my tag line says ” Close your eyes, tell us what you see” I can never say ” I can do a wedding with my eyes closed”! Each and every wedding is a blank canvas. No matter how much experience you have, I look at every wedding as my first. I learn that you can never be too cocky  and that  you are certainly as good as your team, not only with your assistants but with the vendors you network with.
I try very hard to make conferences but with my busy schedule, it is very hard. I look to my ” wedding bibles” , professionals that have been in the business longer than I have to keep me grounded and informed of trends. I also have my mentors within the WPIC alumni and thank God for them as sometimes I send them a ” help” message or email and they are always there to help me out with advise or referrals!
 
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
My new 5 year plan is to celebrate my 200th wedding sometime before 2019 while still rocking my stilettos!
On a serious note, having to deal with a major life crisis last year and suddenly becoming a single Mother, life took quite the turn. The business suffered tremendously and the fate of Serendipity & Co Inc was uncertain. However, Serendipity is like my child. I gave birth to it 7 years ago, I have nurtured it and just like any Mom, you don’t abandon your children.  When in crisis, you just pull up your socks and work harder. Once again, realizing that we were on the brink of coordinating our 100th wedding, I knew that Serendipity & Co’s fate was to continue well into the future, to grow and be stronger than ever before! With a fresh attitude, lots of ambition , a passion for weddings and a fabulous group of assistants, Serendipity & Co looks forward to a fabulous 2014 season and to our 100th wedding on June 28, 2014!
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Hotel offers Wedding Social Media Concierge

Danielle Andrews Sunkel of WPIC

Written by Danielle Andrews Sunkel

Most couples getting married today hail from the generation affectionately known as “The Millennials.”  They grew up with the internet and social media is a way of life.

For the seriously plugged-in couple with disposable funds, the W Hotels in New York have a new service for their wedding clients, a Social Media Concierge. This concierge will set up a wedding website, live tweet and post photos all day under the couple’s special hashtag.

It is a great way to make sure your Social Media photos look great from your wedding, and guests can turn off their phones and enjoy the moment.

wedding social media concierge w hotel new york

Viral letter circulating, source unknown

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Romance of Mexico Style Shoot

In November, WPIC held an amazing WPIC Mexico Wedding Specialist Certification Event in conjunction with the Mexico Tourism Board.  You can read about all the wonderful events here. To go along with that event, the co-founders of WPIC Inc., Tracey Manailescu and Danielle Andrews Sunkel, set up two Mexico-inspired weddings. Here is Tracey’s, it was featured on the popular Wedding Blog, Wedding Obsession.

www.traceymevents.ca www.traceymevents.ca
www.traceymevents.ca
www.traceymevents.ca www.traceymevents.ca
www.traceymevents.ca www.traceymevents.ca
www.traceymevents.ca
www.traceymevents.ca www.traceymevents.ca
www.traceymevents.ca www.traceymevents.ca
www.traceymevents.ca www.traceymevents.ca
www.traceymevents.ca www.traceymevents.ca
www.traceymevents.ca www.traceymevents.ca
www.traceymevents.ca

Photography: Janice Yi Photography
Planner and Event Stylist: Tracey M Events
Venue: Estates of Sunnybrook 
Cutlery and Stemware: Chairman Mills
Wedding Gown: Maggie Sottero From She’s So Beautiful
Suit: Andrews Formals
Makeup And Hair: Blush Pretty
Mariachi Band: Jorge Lopez Entertainment
Linen, Chairs And Covers, Candles: Have A Seat
Florals: Celebrationz Inc.
Cake: Patricia’s Cake Creations
Stationery: Invitique
Models: Sarah Choy & Matt Cadwallader

Mexico logo

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Saving For Your Honeymoon – 52 Week Money Challenge

By: Holly Carney, WPICC of Holly Martrimony

WPIC’er, Holly Carney shares some helpful tips and advice that she gives to her clients when planning their honeymoon. Some great statistics and helpful hints that we as planners, can share with each of our clients. Thanks, for sharing with us, Holly!

Saving For Your Honeymoon – 52 Week Money Challenge

Travel Only Expert (and tothebeach.ca blogger) Sherry Gratton came to mind for this post because of an image of Aruba she posted talking about how this destination receives 52 WEEKS OF SUNSHINE! Appropriate for a 52 WEEK savings challenge no? Photo Credit: http://tothebeach.ca/

Travel Only Expert (and tothebeach.ca blogger) Sherry Gratton came to mind for this post because of an image of Aruba she posted talking about how this destination receives 52 WEEKS OF SUNSHINE! Appropriate for a 52 WEEK savings challenge no? Photo Credit: http://tothebeach.ca/

According to a survey done by Wedding Papers Diva on engagements and wedding planning, they found that 40% of survey respondents averaged 13-18 months from the ring to the wedding day. According to Wedding Bells Readers Survey in 2013, the honeymoon could increase the wedding budget by $4700 on average. I don’t know about you but this vacation isn’t going to likely be your all-inclusive vacation to Cuba. You might want to do a few more excursions than you normally would or upgrade your suite or level of service or go somewhere a little more exotic? This can apply a lot of pressure on your wedding budget right? What if you could follow a savings plan over your 13-18 month engagement that would allow you to mindlessly but strategically save for your dream honeymoon without feeling like you’re sacrificing a lot?

What will your savings plan look like? Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Kassondras52WeekMoneyChallenge/

What will your savings plan look like? Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Kassondras52WeekMoneyChallenge/

As 2013 ended and we moved into 2014 I started seeing the typical New Years Resolutions popping up everywhere but one stood out! The 52 Week Savings Challenge. From what I can find, it was started by a lady named Kassondra early in 2013. She has a website that you can sign up for free to help you track your progress and see your savings projection. This can be just the motivation you need and if you want accountability there is even a facebook group you can join and see how others are making their savings goals happen! Starting with a $1 a week each (max contribution per week will be $52), you could see $1378 dollars in savings after 12 months (52 weeks). If both of you are saving, this is now $2756. If you want to do more try doubling the amount and starting with $2 each per week (max contribution per week will be $104) which will result in a projected $5512. How much did we need for that honeymoon again? Looks like you might be able to spend a little more than we thought on this plan! AWESOME!

Setting SMART goals is the key! Photo Credit: http://heidipowell.net/

Setting SMART goals is the key! Photo Credit: http://heidipowell.net/

Thought I’d share this 52 Week Savings Challenge as it is something that I have adopted into my life for 2014. I don’t think this will be one of those resolutions that you start and don’t finish. If you prefer to see the savings add up but your contribution go down, START at the 52 week amount and go backwards! $52, $51, $50 … etc. In hindsight I should have started this way but it’s a personal choice! What motivates you? Are you joining the challenge? Join the original facebook group by clicking here. Visit the website by the challenge developer and sign up to track your progress by clicking here. Have an android? Download the app by clicking here. Let us know how you’re doing! Set S.M.A.R.T. goals with us! Remember this from school? S.M.A.R.T. goals are SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ACHIEVABLE, RELEVANT (results-focused, realistic, recorded) and TIME-BOUND. My favourite kind. Exactly the kind of goal you want to set while planning your wedding.

Dream.Plan.Enjoy.

 

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Wedding Planners Dish on the Biggest Regrets from their own Weddings

by Danielle Andrews Sunkel

When speaking with recently married couples they seem to always have the same regrets:

  • They wish they’d hired a wedding planner, even if it was just for the day
  • They wish they spent more on wedding entertainment
  • They wish they had spent more on photography/videography

I wondered what Professional Wedding Planners would have to say when asked the same question, so couples could learn from them.  I asked our association of WPIC Certified Wedding Planners, “What is your biggest regret from your own wedding?”  Here is what our WPICAlumni had to say:

Wedding Planner

“I would have hired a Coordinator! Confession: I’m a bit of a control freak and have a super hard time relinquishing control. If I could do everything over again, I would have hired a professional to oversee the day. It would have alleviated so many stresses!” -Christina Spring, A La Carte Event Management

“I would have hired a day-of coordinator! Had I have been more informed on what they did, I would have hired one. We had guests show up late (and I had to run to the kitchen to notify the caterers), my parents were the ones doing the last minute decor set up between ceremony and reception. My family also did the tear down at the end of the night while my friends and I were still dancing after midnight!” – Amanda Kueneman, Like a Star Wedding & Event Planning

“Yes, I am one of the unlucky professional wedding planners who is too much of a control-freak to hire her own planner…. Well, I paid the price on that one on many levels. I think this is why I feel so bad when I hear of couples that opt out of hiring day-of planners, it hits so close to home. If I had hired a day-of/month-of planner I would have prevented more than half of my stress and been able to enjoy my wedding day.” - Denise Newell, WeDDings Jubilee

“I would have taken a chill pill and tried to enjoy the planning process a little bit more. Found it very stressful taking everything on and I do this for a living. Even the planners need a planner, someone out of our circle to lend a hand, be a sounding board/therapist.” – Krista, KJ & Co. Events

“I definitely would have hired a coordinator. I couldn’t take charge of certain situations as the bride (like standing in an alcove hidden from the groom waiting for the ceremony to start).” – Nicole Marshall, Beautifully Planned Weddings & Events

Videography

“I would hire a professional videographer. My wedding video disappeared right after my wedding, I have never seen it. I suspect it got recorded over.” – Danielle Andrews Sunkel, The Wedding Planners

“I would have hired a different videographer. Found mine at the Wedding Show and since I originally did not want a video, I went with him because he was very affordable. Our video is boring. Although it is not horrible, anyone could have done it. I love the same day edits- would have done something like that.” – Cendi Micor, Immortal Weddings

“I also would have hired a professional videographer.  Even if we had watched the video once, it would have been worth the investment, as I had a video but since it went for a walk into Land of the Lost while we were on our honeymoon, I’ll never have the chance to watch it. 6+ years, and it still upsets me.” – Erin Bosak, Erin Bosak Events

“I would have had a different videographer as well. We waited months and months to get the video, and it wasn’t great.” -Jacquie Swadi, One Sweet Day

“I wish I spent more time researching vendors in general but hands down I would have made a better choice on my video/photo vendor (you can’t put a price on capturing the moments of this day). I have the worst video & photos from my wedding I hate watching them as I get really upset even to this day.” – Sherisse Bhimani, The Wedding Decorators

“My biggest regret is not hiring a Videographer. I thought I would never watch the video and more likely to look at pictures. But even watching it once to see your emotion would have been well worth it!” – Jennie Dobrucki, A Divine Affair

“We chose to hire a videographer for the ceremony, and not the reception. Both my husband and I regret this because the speeches were incredibly moving, but they were not captured on film.” Hevin Anne Mueller, Story Weddings & Events

wedding party dancing

Photo by Picturesque Photography

“Looking back there was only one thing I would have done differently, I would have had my videographer stay until the reception speeches were over. He captured the ceremony but marrying into a blended family, our children presented us with a song rewritten from the Brady Bunch theme, to my husband and I, it was our most memorable moment.” – Claudia Hynes, Details by Cludia Wedding Planner

“I would have invested in a better photographer and would have hired a videographer. There were so many moments I wish were captured but weren’t. Next time I’ll do it right! ” – Carolyne Allen,  Events by Carolyne

Photography

“For my wedding I hired a friend to do the photography. At that time I didn’t realize the importance of hiring a PROFESSIONAL. That old saying, “you get what you paid for”….so true! My photos were horrible, I could have done a better job.  Now, I tell all my clients don’t skimp on the important things, like photography, memories will fade but the photos will last a lifetime!” – Tracy Nolan, First Comes Love Weddings & Floral Design

“I would have taken the time to meet with a few more photographers to make sure they were the right match for us. We had a very tight budget and went with what we could afford. We liked their photos on their website so we thought everything would be fine. I’m not sure what it was, but I didn’t find our photos to be as nice as others, I even re-edited some of them myself, and we didn’t seem to jive well with the photographer. ” – Janelle Berard, Janelle Nicole Weddings

“As much as I adored my photographers (and love most of my photos) I wish they were a little more attentive (or I had an assistant coordinator keeping an eye on how we looked).” – Amanda Kueneman, Like a Star Wedding & Event Planning

“My Photographer who was a part-timer got called by his full time job to go to India on business 2 weeks before my wedding and sent his apprentice instead. She was horrible and I didn’t get any wedding photos of Merrill and I that were not blurry. In hindsight, I should have immediately hired someone else once I found that out. Even with only 2 weeks notice.” – Denise Newell, WeDDings Jubilee

“My biggest regret – not preparing a Must Have Photograph List for our photographer! Family and friends we hadn’t seen in eons (and won’t ever again!) were at our wedding and we didn’t get photos with them! Our consolation prize – we had instant cameras on every reception table, so each guest is in at least one photo – but not with us!” – Valerie Gower, The Occasion Sensation

“I would have hired a better photographer. Photos were hit or miss and she missed many great shots! The best piece of advice I have ever gotten and now use on my clients is ‘hire the best photographer you can afford’.” – Jennifer Borgh, Jennifer Borgh Events

“My only regret was not hiring a really amazing photographer. We decided to try and save money in this area and looking back I would have spent the money for a top photographer.” – Alexandra McNamara, Blush and Bowties

DJ/Entertainment

“I would have paid for a better DJ. I won a package from a local radio station that included a photo booth so I just hired a DJ from the same company, I thought it was the right thing to do because they donated a package worth $1000 and I didn’t think it would be right to bring in another company to do the DJ part. My guests liked him but I did not.” – Ashlie Metcalf, Harmony Wedding & Event Coordination

“I wish I knew the proper questions to ask when hiring a DJ so I could have picked someone else. We wanted an upscale non-cheesy, no silly game wedding (which we communicated to him verbally, but not on paper), and our DJ decided to do an Elvis impersonation contest with the guests in the middle of the dance party :s I am still trying to erase it from my memory.” -Janis Martinello, Brocade Events

“I also would have gone with a better DJ – I really wanted a great dance party & it went the opposite.” – Nicole Marshall, Beautifully Planned Weddings & Events

“I would have gone with my gut and changed the DJ I hired! After I hired him, I saw him work my friend’s wedding four months before mine. He was highly interactive and performed his MC duties in a 3-ring-circus sort of voice, and was very controlling — when he ran a kissing game and people were shouting out answers, he repeatedly tried to reinforce the rules (isn’t the point just to get them to kiss anyways? Who cares if the wrong table answers!). At that time, we discussed changing vendors due to the egomaniacy, but we had no games, and we had our own MC, so we didn’t think this level of presence would happen because it wasn’t necessary, so we still kept him on board. Well he had a huge ego. Yelled at my photographers, played music I specifically asked him not to, and was rude to my mother. At least 15 people came up to me during my wedding to tell me how rude he was to them (don’t put your drink there, don’t talk when I’m trying to announce something, going around individually and impatiently telling people to sit down for speeches). When we left at the end of the night, the on-site coordinator asked us, “If you could change any one thing about your wedding, what would it be?” And my new husband and I answered in unison, ‘The DJ!’ ” – Jennie Barrie

Venue

“Although I loved my venue, the reason I chose it was to be fair to our families and their travel time. If I had to do it over, I would’ve just done it where we initially wanted to, Niagara-on-the-lake, because the travel time wasn’t as big of an issue as we thought it was.” – Denise Newell, WeDDings Jubilee

Unfinished wedding venue

April’s wedding venue, with unfinished floors

“I definitely would have went after my venue over what was done for the hall. I was told 2 weeks before the wedding (because we went in to see the hall with my mother-in-law) that renovations would be finished before my wedding and there wouldn’t be any problems. When I got to my hall that morning to start decorating with family and friends, the hall was a DISASTER!! It was all gyprock, and beams and holes and nails.. it was AWFUL. Thankfully I had good friends and family to help do what we could for the hall. Again… it still looked awful. And we were already after paying (in full) and had nothing reimbursed to us (which to me was still in reno mode).” April Hogan, The Wedding Woman

Timing

“I would have allotted more time in between the ceremony and reception to hang out with my bridal party.” -Julia Pringle, Once Upon Your Day

“I would have allotted more time for photos of just my husband & I. Between the ceremony & reception we wanted to get so many photos with friends & family members and only got a few good ones of the two of us! I also really love when couples get “first look” photos before the ceremony, and I wish we would have done them.” – Merridyth Marshall, Custom Elegance

“The biggest regret I guess would have been not putting up a polite signage at my dessert/cake table asking my guests to eat the dessert at the dessert time or after I cut my cake.  My cupcakes and macaroons were GONEEEEEEEEEEEE in 20 minutes (literally as guests are taking their seats). I was disappointed to not have anything left before making my grand entrance, lol.” –  Jessie Huang

Thank You Speeches

“I would write my thank you speech, and make my husband do the same!  I had so many other things on my mind, I completely forgot about my speech, then decided to wing it, until my husband went on some crazy rant, by the time he finished I was laughing too hard to say anything other than ‘Thanks!’” – Melissa Gurley, Gurley Events

“I didn’t do a speech because I was afraid I would cry. A decision I still regret. A wedding is the perfect opportunity to publicly honour your friends and family and express your love and gratitude to them. And if there are a few tears, that’s OK.” – Christine March, Imprint Wedding Design & Coordination

Wedding Dress

“I would have gone with a less traditional dress. I wanted black or some black and did not go with that.’ – Cendi Micor, Immortal Weddings

“I would have had two dresses! My dress was so big that it made it difficult to dance well with a partner, i would keep the same dress for the ceremony and reception but i would get a shorter dress to dance! Plus I love short wedding dresses!” – Roxane Aubin, Evidement Weddings

Asking for Help

“I wish we had hired/delegated a family member to do the day-after stuff (pick-up decor and rentals from the venue, drive all over the city returning things to the groomsmen, picking up our gifts etc.) It really killed the first day of being husband and wife, fortunately we were off the next day for our mini moon.” – Jillian Turner, Confetti Co Weddings

“I would have delegated the day after tasks to family so everyone wasn’t running around first thing in the morning trying to load cars and check out on time.” – Sara Drummond-Ghetu, Taliyah-Love Weddings

Hair & Make-up

“I would have been a little more fussy at the salon. My hair was nothing like what I wanted it to be and not at all like the trial. Very disapointing but I didn’t want to be a “bridezilla” and decided to let it slide. Every time I look at the pictures, I still regret it.” - Janelle Berard, Janelle Nicole Weddings

“I wasn’t really happy with my bridal look, so I would change the way my hair & makeup looked.” - Malvina Pelleriti, Brilliant Weddings

Decor

“I really wished that I had chair covers and asked about the length of the table linens. I really loved the venue (Millcroft Inn) with its stone walls and rustic charm but the chairs almost looked like office/banquet chairs and the linen wasn’t long to the ground so it exposed the table legs. Every time I look back at the reception photos I could kick myself for not spending a little extra to make the room perfect.” – Laura Scott, Tula Events

More than anything, I think it boils down to: Hire a professional Wedding Coordinator!  They have learned from experience, so they know how to make your day the best it can be!

-Danielle

 

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Planning Indian Weddings

Destination Indian wedding ceremony

Photo by Casey Durgin

By Preeti Moberg, The Big Fat Indian Wedding

If you are a planning your first Indian wedding, there are probably a myriad of questions flying through your head.  And you are probably also feeling a little overwhelmed by the complexity, length, and sheer size of the wedding.

That is okay.  Indian weddings, and any South Asian wedding, are overwhelming.  There is a joke that if you haven’t done an Indian wedding, you haven’t won the Hunger Games.  Indian weddings are overwhelming for anyone involved in it, the bride, the groom, the families, the vendors, even the first-time Indian wedding guests.  There is so much color, so many details, rich cultural history, long poojas (prayers), and lots of food.

Indian wedding place cards

Photo by Eric Leppo

So first, breathe. Take a deep breath and know that it will all be okay. Now, it’s time to begin educating yourself on some of the Indian wedding “must-knows:”

The Religion & Culture
First thing first.  To throw an “Indian” wedding is to really throw a wedding that is specific to a religion, a region, a group, and a tribe of Indians.  Know where your clients hail from and take notes on what kind of wedding traditions are particularly important to them.

The Family
Families are everything in Indian weddings as a wedding is NOT between two people, but instead, between two families.  When it comes to financing the Big Day, different family members typically pay for different components of the wedding. If the couple wants to exert more decision-making in the planning process, then they will pay for most of the events. With Indian weddings, the family will want to be involved throughout the process, and clashes may pop up so it’s imperative that you put on your peacemaking cap to navigate everyone to amicable solutions.

Size
An Indian wedding will most likely be one of the largest events you will plan.  An average reception is 400-800 people, and an average wedding ceremony is 150-400 people.  It is vital you work with vendors that understand these large sizes and have had experience working with them.  You will also need to think about more room reservations, lots more food and drinks, more children guests, more favors, more photographers.  More, more, more.

wedding flowers

Photo by Kimberly Photography

The Colors
You can drop the American wedding palettes of “blush and bashful.”  While there will be some brides who want a modern, western look, you will mostly encounter brides and families who want color, and lots of it. You’ll find that some brides already have a color theme in mind but for those who don’t, consider steering them towards a bright color palette.

The Events
There are many more events than just the rehearsal dinner, the wedding, and the reception, and with that comes additional considerations.  The baraat, for example, is the groom’s entrance for the wedding ceremony.  Families love to get a horse, elephant, or a fancy car for the event and some even want city blocks closed down.  Get all the permits and approval in order well in advance.

Additionally, there is also the real issue of Indian Standard Time, in which events start 1-2 hours later than the posted time.  With this, you will need to buffer time into events, while also working with the families to ensure they get their guests there on time.

south asian wedding food

Photo by Kimberly Photography

The Food
As with any ethnic groups, Indians have a variety of dietary restrictions.  You need to discuss what restrictions there are for *each* event and ensure that the off-limit items are nowhere to be found.  Many hotels are caterers today under the food restrictions of Indians, but check twice.

Some events may also be alcohol free.  This is your time to come up with tasty, refreshing mocktails to serve.

These are just a few things for you to remember when planning your first Indian wedding. Do your due diligence by going online and asking veteran wedding planners for their advice, and don’t be afraid to ask the couple questions as well.  The more confident you are about the event, the better it will run.

And remember, take a deep breath and have fun!

Preeti Moberg is the founder of The Big Fat Indian Wedding, an online bridal resource that inspires with South Asian Wedding traditions, trends, fashion and real weddings.

Photo Credits:
Erin Leppo Photography
Casey Durgin Photography
Kimberly Photography LLC

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1920′s-Inspired Wedding Style Shoot

This sweet and fun, 1920′s inspired wedding styleshoot was brought to you by WPIC Alumni, Amanda Douglas, WPICC of Amanda Douglas Events in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

From Amanda:
This shoot was a beautiful collaboration of some great Winnipeg vendors. We had the idea of creating a shoot that was fresh, warm, bright and 1920′s-inspired.  We tried to focus on the fun and elegance of the 20s but bringing in brighter colors light gold, pink and ivory.

Cake for 1920s inspired wedding styleshoot 1920s inspired wedding styleshoot
1920s inspired wedding styleshoot 1920s inspired wedding styleshoot
1920s inspired wedding styleshoot
1920s inspired wedding styleshoot
1920s inspired wedding styleshoot
1920s inspired wedding styleshoot 1920s inspired wedding styleshoot
1920s inspired wedding styleshoot
1920s inspired table wedding styleshoot
1920s inspired wedding styleshoot 1920s inspired wedding styleshoot
1920s inspired wedding styleshoot
1920s inspired wedding styleshoot
1920s inspired wedding styleshoot 1920s inspired bride wedding styleshoot
1920s inspired wedding styleshoot cake 1920s inspired wedding styleshoot

The table was set with oversized floral arrangements of hydrangeas, roses, gold berries, and greenery accented by crystal candled holders, a music sheet table runner, simple white plates, antique gold cutlery and vintage lace wall set behind.

The focus was on sweet elegance and charm and the love and whimsy that comes from people in love.

The location was selected in an old building full of studios and lofts in the Exchange district in Downtown Winnipeg (Manitoba, Canada).  We wanted to work with a bright white space that had beautiful wood floors and a rustic wood table, bringing in some natural elements to the shoot.

The stationery was designed to be simple and sweet. Grey text was used on the invite with pale pink for the names and date. We softened the look of the invite by rounding corners and aging the edges. By combining all these elements it gave the stationery an overall feminine and romantic feel.

Our couples were done up to be angelic and fresh, using soft neutral tones, with dusty rose accents.  We worked with the girls’ natural beauty picking a nude lipstick for one and a more punchy pink lipstick for the other.  The hair design was the most influenced by the 1920′s. The flare was romantic, soft and beautiful, to play in with the soft tones and antique edge of the decor and clothing.

The cake was a 4 tear ruff iced beauty adorned with wax flowers, golden berries and garden roses.

The dresses were picked thinking of the classy and romantic women of the 20s but of course with a more modern and edgy flare to what would have be the style back then. We love the look and flow of these off white lace and silk dresses.  The men’s outfits were chosen as simple and clean, accenting the beauty of their ladies and their dresses.

Over all this shoot was a beautiful and elegant day full of laugher, music, romance, and fabulous vendors getting to work together to create something we’re proud of and happy to share.

Photography: Kat Willson Photography  | Styling, Coordination + Decor Rentals: Amanda Douglas Events| Floral Design: Fancy Fleurs | Dresses: Stella’s Bridal | Cake: Cake-ology | Stationery: Cherish the Moment | Hair: Topknot Freelance | Makeup: 2 Chicks and a Bag of Makeup | Location: Loft Studio, Exchange District, Winnipeg, Canada

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WPIC’s Mexico Wedding Specialist Event

by Danielle Andrews Sunkel

Yesterday we held a Mexico Wedding Specialist Certification event for our WPIC Alumni at the beautiful Vaughan Estate at the Estates of Sunnybrook, in Toronto.  Petar Valkov, of Bicoastal Images captured the day for us beautifully!

Love driving up to Vaughan Estate and seeing WPIC Mexico Event on the sign!

Love driving up to Vaughan Estate seeing WPIC Mexico Event on the sign!

Attendees were greeted with a shot of tequila in “Mexico” branded glasses colored and displayed in the colors of the Mexican Flag.

The team at the Estates of Sunnybrook created tequila shots in the colours of the Mexican flag.  They are cranberry, lichee and apple.

The team at the Estates of Sunnybrook created tequila shots in the colours of the Mexican flag. They are cranberry, lychee and apple.

WPICer, Sholla Lampkin, getting into the spirit (or spirits) of Mexico

WPICer, Sholla Lampkin, getting into the spirit (or spirits) of Mexico

The sights, sounds and flavours of Mexico were all around.  Attendees were treated by the sounds of a four-piece Mariachi band,

The Jorge Lopez band at WPIC Mexico event 1459808_641481502557486_374752558_n

and huge buffet of Mexican food and passed Mexican appetizers.

Mexican buffet at WPIC Mexico event

We had chicken fajitas, fish tacos, vegetarian fajitas, bean salad, fresh guacamole and so much more!

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Mexican food at WPIC Mexico event

All 70 attendees enjoyed networking and getting the chance to speak one on one with select travel partners and destination wedding vendors.

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WPIC Alumni networking at Mexico event

There were two over-the-top Mexican-inspired wedding set-ups for them to view (sorry no photos as they are being submitted to Magazines).

The attendees went into the main room where there was a 10 foot by 8 foot step and repeat sign showing photos of weddings throughout Mexico, showcasing the many different styles of weddings available in Mexico.  Most attendees had their photo taken in front of the sign.

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Wpic Co-founder Tracey Manailescu, WPICer Dulce Avila and WPIC Co-Founder Danielle Andrews Sunkel

WPIC Mexico wedding step and repeat

WPICer Bernice Ng

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WPICer Maria Badian

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WPICer Anastasia Slotiek

We contracted Craig from Designing Trendz to provide us with a flower arrangement for the stage area.  He surprised us with these gorgeous floral wedding dress mannequins!  We just love his creativity.

flower wedding gowns Designing Trendz WPIC Mexico event1479190_641484029223900_814663319_n

We then started our program for the day.

Attendees at WPIC Mexico Wedding Specialist certification

WPIC Co-founders, Danielle Andrews Sunkel and Tracey Manailescu

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Our program opened with a video from the owners Bicoastal Images, Jennifer and Manuel Salazar, speaking live from their patio on the beach in Cancun.

Jennifer and Manuel of Bocoastal Images at WPIC Mexico event

We had presentations from Velas Resorts, Hard Rock All Inclusive, and Palace Resorts about all their offerings in Mexico.

Travel representatives speaking at WPIC Mexico event

Angelica from Velas Resorts

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Janet from the Hard Rock All Inclusive Collection

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Juan Carlos from Palace Resorts

We then adjourned for Churros, Mexican Wedding Cookies, a Mexican-inspired wedding cake complete with Mexican tiles on it, Cafe de Olla and Chocolate Caliente.

Churros with chocolate sauce

Churros with chocolate sauce

Then all attendees went back to listen to Rodrigo Esponda, of the Mexico Tourism office in Toronto, present on Mexico Weddings.  He was fantastic!!!  He really described each of the top areas for weddings and made everyone very excited to plan weddings there.

Rodrigo Esponda of Mexico Tourism at WPIC Mexico Event

Rodrigo Esponda of Mexico Tourism

Prize Time!  Velas Resorts, Hard Rock All Inclusive Resorts and Palace Resorts each gave away an all-inclusive trip for two to 3 lucky attendees.

Velas Resorts presenting prize at WPIC Mexico event

Kimberley flew in from Montreal to attend this event and won a 7-day All Inclusive trip to Grand Velas Resort in Puerto Vallarta!

Hard Rock AIC presenting trip at WPIC Mexico Event

Summer Varty fell in love with the Hard Rock AIC brand after speaking with Janet, then she won an All Inclusive trip to any of the properties!

Palace resorts presenting trip at WPIC Mexico event

Amy Stevenson is over the moon to have won an All Inclusive trip to Palace Resort’s 5 diamond property, Le Blanc in Cancun!

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Maria won the Destination Wedding Coordinator Certification course from WPIC

Danielle Deebank and Nick of Andrew's Formals at WPIC MExico event

Danielle won one of several prizes provided by Andrew’s Formals

We are so pleased with how this event turned out!  Jennifer Prince, WPICC, of Estates of Sunnybrook, was an absolute dream to work with.

Jennifer Prince of Estate of Sunnybrook at WPIC Mexico Event

We invaded the mansion and took over every inch.  Anything we asked for or about was done, no problem.  We even gave them recipe for Cafe de Olla and Chocolate Caliente which they reproduced beautifully (and deliciously).  Rinouldo the Maitre D’ of Vaughan Estates was wonderful and so helpful, thoughtful and attentive.  We absolutely love doing events and weddings at the Estates of Sunnybrook.

See the entire Facebook album from Bicoastal Images here.

Our WPIC Mexico Event Contributors

Our WPIC Mexico Event Contributors

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