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How Not to be a Negative Nelly in the Wedding Industry

www.wpic.ca

By: Tracey Manailescu

At some point in time, I think it’s reasonably safe to say that we all have felt self-doubt, jealousy, insecure, and even animosity towards  someone else within the industry.  Not everyone is meant to be best friends, and you may not agree with some others business practices, to each his own. It is also pretty safe to assume, that you have come across instances where you were a little thrown off by a negative comment, rants on social media or have been in attendance of someone bashing another industry peer.

At WPIC inc. we hear about so many of these on a weekly basis.  Whether it is about us, our Alumni, or vendors we know. Sometimes it really hurts, while other times it makes us down right angry. Danielle and I have made it very clear that we will not tolerate or participate in gossip and slander. Heck, we even made it one of our WPIC Code of Ethics, because we feel so strongly about this negative type of behaviour. We expect all of our WPIC Alumni to abide by these ethics. While it is very easy to get into these types of conversations, think about what it looks like to those listening.  Yuck!

Gossip

“What I am suggesting is that each of us turn from the negativism that permeates our society and look for the remarkable good among those with whom we associate, that we speak of one another’s virtues more than we speak of one another’s faults, that optimism replace pessimism, that our faith exceed our fears. When I was a young man and was prone to speak critically, my father would say: “Cynics do not contribute, skeptics do not create, doubters do not achieve.” Gordon B. Hinckley

Social Media: I have unfollowed or hidden so many people in my newsfeed on Facebook because of negative posts. It’s depressing and makes me feel stressed. When I log into Facebook, I personally want to see happy posts like accomplishments, great photos from recent weddings, funny stories of things that happened to my friends and peers in the course of the day, romantic gestures, new goals and posts about cute things their kids or pets do, etc. You know, things that generally make you smile, and feel good when you see, and read them. Social media is not the place to voice your anger issues, or to trash your significant other. That is what friends, family and loved ones are for.

People tend to be generous when sharing their nonsense, fear, and ignorance. And while they seem quite eager to feed you their negativity, please remember that sometimes the diet we need to be on is a spiritual and emotional one. Be cautious with what you feed your mind and soul. Fuel yourself with positivity and let that fuel propel you into positive action.” Steve Maraboli 

Take the time to Get to Know Others in the Industry: Sometimes, people feel the need to talk badly, and trash others businesses because they just don’t understand what all of the hype is about. Instead of assuming, get out to events and get to know others in the industry. You might be pleasantly surprised to find out that they are just like you, or might have something great to offer you and your business. It might be tips, advice or just a great conversation that can make all of the difference.

The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.”  Wayne Dyer

goals

Set Realistic Goals: Set goals for yourself that are reasonable and can definitely be obtained. It might be creating a new look and feel to your company, getting interviewed in a news segment, newspaper or magazine, getting an image makeover, losing weight, getting published for a wedding or a style shoot, or booking more of your type of clients, getting hired for a destination wedding, going on vacation somewhere you have always dreamed of, attending a conference in another city or country, etc.  Whatever it is, make it a priority. Do something every day, or at least every week to help you obtain those goals. Research companies who specialize in branding, website designers that fit your style and budget, take a course, start saving 10% of your pay-cheques, put together style boards, create a vision board, and go for it!

Spend so much time improving yourself that you have no time left to criticize others.” Norman Vincent Peale

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others:  There is always going to be someone more successful, makes more money, who is smarter, better looking, more creative and more powerful than you. Deal with it! Instead of harbouring negative thoughts, why not come up with ways that you can do better, and be better. You have no idea how hard they struggled to get where they are now. Success comes with hard work and lots of trials and errors along the way.

Comparison is the thief of joy.” Theodore Roosevelt

team

Pick Your Battles: Sometimes you are put into situations where you need to work with someone you do not get along with.  It could be another member of your team, a vendor, a client’s family member or friend, etc. No one says you need to be best friends, but you do need to be courteous and professional, and put the client’s needs first. Try to put yourself in their shoes. Are they insecure, or think that you are stepping on their toes? Talk it out (in private). It might be something so little, that can be easily fixed. If it really is more, and you will never see eye to eye, then you need to figure out how you can work together and not let it ruin the wedding, event and your reputation. Try not to respond in the heat of the moment, if it’s possible. It usually leads to trouble. Sometimes it is better to just turn the other cheek. It’s sometimes hard to do, but can be worth it in the long run.

“Pick your battles. You don’t have to show up to every argument you’re invited to.” Mandy Hale

How to Create Great Content for Instagram

by Meagan Eagles, of Weddings Tied With Lace

  1. Post Interesting Photos.

If you want people to follow you, you have to create a page worth following.  Instagram is a great platform to show the person behind the business. Post photos that showcase your personality, show the behind the scenes of your business and occasional product or service shots.

  1. Use Natural Light

Always use natural light when possible. If you can’t be outside, take your photo near a window. This makes a huge difference.

  1. Use the Rule of Thirds

Instagram is a visual platform, which means eye-catching images are important. Whatever style you choose for your brand, your images should reflect that. The frame and positioning of an image can really change the emotion it relates. When you have your photo in Instagram, play around with the grid to find the right balance.

Photos for Meagans blog

In this photo you can see how  using the rule of thirds can change things. The first image is how it automatically showed up in Instagram.  It was slightly off centered, which for this image doesn’t look right. In the middle photo I zoomed in just slightly and brought the computer in the middle of the grid.  The third photo shows me not using the rule of thirds at all. It’s not as appealing overall.

  1. Straighten

Use the straighten feature in Instagram to add the finishing touches to your image.

In the photos below, the first image is slightly crooked. We straightened it in Instagram and it now aligns with the straightness of the floor.

flowers2

flowers

  1. Edit Your Photos

Use a photo editing app to brighten, sharpen, add contrast, etc to make your photos stand out. No one likes to look at dark depressing photos.

  1. Be Consistent

No matter what style you choose to edit your photos in, make sure you keep it consistent to your brand, and to your other photos posted. When someone scrolls through your page it should be a sea of similar styled photos, different yet somewhat the same.

weddingtedwithlace

Meagan is the lead planner and designer of Weddings Tied with Lace, based in the Niagara Region. She is WPIC certified and was the recent representative for the Niagara Region. Meagan is also the creator of the BOSS retreat, an intimate workshop for creative women entrepreneurs. You can follow her on Instagram here: www.instagram.com/weddingstiedwithlace & here: www.instagram.com/thebossretreat

If you’d like to know more about how to improve your business by using Instagram as well as additional topics, we’d love to see you at the BOSS retreat! www.thebossretreat.com

Planner of the Month: Jennifer Borgh

 

 

Today we bring you the always amazing, Jennifer Borgh, to start of our 2015 “Planner of The Month”.  Jennifer is a superstar with her mad planning skills.  She is a destination guru who focuses on her specialty, Jamaica. Her passion, and no-nonsense approach has won over the hearts of clients and vendors alike. Danielle and I both book our family vacations with her, and know without a doubt that we are in good hands. She goes above and beyond for her clients, and she has a heart of gold. We are proud to introduce, Jennifer Borgh as WPIC’s Planner of the Month.

Name: Jennifer Borgh

Company: Jennifer Borgh Events

Most challenging aspect of starting your business?  Too many challenges to list.

– Finding great staff.  A lot of money was wasted over the years, trying to find the perfect team and after 5 years, I have finally put together my A team

– Balancing family, marriage and business(this is constantly a work in progress and still haven’t figured this one out)

-Dealing with people.  I am VERY lucky to have had very few bridezillas over the years, however the ones that I have had, have been emotionally exhausting.  I count my blessings everyday for the amazing couples I get to deal with and feel very lucky to have more good than bad.

Jenn Borgh1

When was your moment when you truly felt you made your company successful?  I feel this way after every wedding which is why I love my job so much.  I have been very fortunate to win several awards over the years and be published in magazines and newspapers which is always a nice reward for my hard work.

How many staff do you currently have? 4 Travel Agents plus our amazing vendors who we work very closely with.

Jenn Borgh2

Best moments/memories from one or more wedding(s)?  So many tears of joy over the years but my favourite part is when couples realize their wedding was better because they hired me.  All the money in the world can’t make up for gratitude and appreciation.

Please tell us some things you have learned over the years that have helped you grow?  Not to take things personally.  Although, it’s hard to fully ignore this fact, it has come to my attention that some people.  Not to watch my competition.  I don’t check out their websites, or follow what they do, it helps be focus on my own business and not waste time.

Jenn Borgh3

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? Phew, good question.  Possibly living in Jamaica during the winter, doing what I do best.  Planning destination weddings in Jamaica!

 

 

 

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. ;)

superplanner

Avoiding Industry Burn-out

www.wpic.ca

By: Tracey Manailescu

www.wpic.ca

Photo:
www.avenue-photo.com

“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

www.wpic.ca

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.

A WPIC Experience in Jamaica

WPIC in Jamaica

The Jamaica February 2015 WPIC Class at Couples Sans Souci in Ocho Rios
Photo Courtesy of WPIC Instructor, Monica Caesar

www.wpic.ca

Photo by Decordova Photography

by Kaley  Campbell, WPIC Inc. Office Manager

If you haven’t had the chance to go to Jamaica, I would recommend you drop everything you are doing right now and get on the next plane heading south.  That’s what I did and the only downside was I had to get on a plane to come back.

This past weekend, WPIC held our famous Wedding Coordinator & Consultant Certification Course at the amazing Couples Sans Souci Resort in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. We had such a fantastic response to the course being held there, that we needed more manuals for the weekend.  We looked into all routes to get them there in time, but in the end, the best method was sending someone personally, and I have never loved Tracey and Danielle more for that decision.

First off, flying in from -15⁰ (windchill to feel like -100⁰) to 28⁰ was exactly the perfect way to start the weekend.  You could tell which was the Toronto plane from the passengers being seen stripping off 8 layers of clothing on the way immigration.  Once through, I had the day to adventure, swim in the ocean, and prepare myself for what would be the BEST course I have ever taken. (Sorry University & Marketing, but you’re out, wedding planning is in!)

at Couples Sans SouciThe first day started with meeting some of the most positive and driven people I have ever met.  Coming from a completely different background then every single person in the class, I figured I would feel a little out of place.  However that was as far from the case as it could get.  I fully understood why the bus driver, the resorts, and the cab drivers said “welcome home.”  That’s exactly what vibe Jamaica portrays, its “home.”  I also got the privilege of finally meeting Monica Caesar, WPIC instructor and owner of Ailse Plan Your Day. Monica was exactly what I thought she would be. She is inspiring, passionate, exciting, and extremely knowledgeable in every area of wedding planning.

Right from 8:00 am of the first class, we were launched deep into the world of wedding planning.  The only breaks we took were to fuel up on the amazing spread of food Couples provided to us, and some much needed caffeine breaks.  I left day one with a mind over flowing with information and excitement for the new career I am embarking on, and the desiring urge to start day two.

image3After the first 11 hour day, day two came quick.  However instead of feeling tired, I felt alive.  Ready for day two and to really be a part of the WPIC community.  Day two came with the same intense knowledge load, starting early, really grasping all areas of planning. Day two was a little different; Couples had planned a few surprises for us.  Couples treated us to a site visit, to see all of what it has to offer, and trust me, it has a lot to offer.  We had the privilege of seeing the most amazing views from all the different areas of the resort.  At times in the tour I didn’t even feel like I was on a resort, I felt more like I was in the Jamaican jungle.  There were turtle ponds, a natural exfoliating fish pool, a waterfall, multiple beaches, pools, spas, gyms and more.  Unlike other resorts, Couples only houses 150 rooms, and the resort is twice the size of their competitors.  Couples Resort Sans Souci, is an experience in itself.  You would never question where you are as it captures the best points of Jamaica and places it at your fingertips.

After the breath taking tour, we were treated to a social by the turtle pond, which included mimosas (my favorite) and delicious sandwiches.  We took full advantage by networking with everyone in class, and making future plans for Jamaican meet ups.

WPIC Afternoon Break at Couples Sans Souci

Photo courtesy WPIC Instructor, Monica Caesar

We could have stayed by the pond all day, however we had plenty more to cover. Once back in class, fellow classmates,  Peter Shoucair,   Jo-Anne Paxton, and Kathy-Anne Everhart, (the producers of the Jamaica Bridal Expo and extremely knowledgeable individuals), gave us a personal presentation about running a business in Jamaica, and the upcoming Bridal show that is happening at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, September 19th and 20th 2015.  The presentation included everything from taxes, insurance, legality and more.  We were thrilled that such talented individuals were also becoming WPIC alumni and we got the pleasure of learning from their experience.

The night came quick, and the excitement wound down.  I was so privileged to be able to take this course and in such an amazing destination.  The people I met and the connections I made were ones I know I will have for a lifetime. WPIC isn’t just a course, it’s a family.  Being WPIC alumni, you have constant support you need for this type of profession, and furthermore you get to grow and develop within the industry with ongoing learning opportunities and education.

Here is what Renesa had to say about the class:

“An experience of a lifetime…

Having a natural love and passion for weddings and wanting to enter the industry, it was only natural to seek international certification from WPIC.  It was money well-spent that afforded me the privilege to meet and network with some awesome people while being taught by the extraordinary Monica Caesar.  I’d recommend this course to everyone.”

A big “Thank you” to: Monica Caesar, Couples San Souci, and WPIC for the amazing weekend.

P.S anytime you need extra manuals dropped off, I’m your girl.

How to Look and be Great on TV and Video

look good on tv

by Danielle Andrews Sunkel

Everyone loves weddings, anything about weddings draws viewers in, so it only makes sense that the media calls on wedding planners to answer questions, offer tips and talk about the newest trends.  You can be called for a television interview at any time and odds are you will not have much time to prepare, sometimes only a couple of hours.

You know that saying, “The camera adds 10 pounds.”  Well its a lie.  The camera adds 10% to your body weight.  So if you weigh 100 lbs, yes the camera adds 10 lbs, but if you weigh 200 lbs you look 20 lbs heavier!! So unfair.  How you dress, stand and even where you put your hands can make you look better on camera.

Here are some important tips on how to look your best on television and video:

Posture

Sit or stand up straight.  Slouching or getting to comfortable makes you look disinterested and a lot heavier than you are.

Clothing

You must feel good in your clothes.  When you feel good, you look good.

  • Wear proper fitting clothes, nothing too big or frumpy.
  • Patterns tend to dance on the screen, so stick to solids.
  • Colours: Solid black, white and red are no-no’s. Bright colours and jewel tones look great on screen.
  • Boots look very strange on men on television.
  • A dark top with a longer jacket or vest elongates heavier people.  The heavier the person, the longer the lines of their clothing should be.
  • If you will be sitting down and wearing a skirt, pay attention to the length of the skirt when you sit.  You don’t want to be fidgeting and adjusting during the interview.
  • Men if you are wearing a jacket, unbutton at least the bottom button when you sit.
  • Your clothing doesn’t have to be expensive or designer (no one will be able to tell), but it must be clean, professional, comfortable and make you feel good.
  • Make sure your shoes are clean and polished.

before and after makeup

Hair & Make-up

Depending on the show you are on, they may have a hair and make-up person, if they don’t, you must do your own.

  • Men, use a blotting paper or some translucent powder so you don’t shine on television, you will just look sweaty.
  • Women, you do not look finished or put together if you don’t have on make-up.  Sorry you don’t.  At the very least put on concealer, mascara and lipstick.
  • If you have time, why not get your hair and makeup professionally done?  It is a business expense and well worth it.
  • Make sure your nails are neat and tidy.  Do not go on TV with chipped nail polish.
  • If your roots are showing, fix them up!

How to Talk

Speak naturally, in your normal voice.  You are not the announcer or a news anchor, so don’t talk like one.  Do not rush, and speak clearly.  Make sure you have had enough water before hand and if water is there for you don’t be afraid to drink (it’s great if you need to collect your thoughts and you should keep your mouth wet so you can speak properly.)

wpic reporter on the street

Dealing with the Microphone

Depending on the program you are being interviewed on, you will have a boom microphone overhead, be wearing a handheld lavaliere mic or holding a handheld microphone.  If there is an overhead boom microphone, you can just carry on and not worry about where the microphone is.  If you will be wearing the mic, make sure there will be somewhere to clip the microphone or else a stranger might be seeing more of you than you intended so they can hook it to your undergarments. If you will be holding a handheld, make sure it is under your chin about 6 inches from your face.  If you put your thumb on your chin and extend your pinky, that is the distance you should hold the mic away from you.

What to do with your eyes

Look at the person you are speaking to, whether it is the interviewer, the audience or the audience at home (the camera).  If your eyes are darting around or you are not looking at the person you are speaking to, you look untrustworthy.

Blink naturally, excessive blinking makes you look like you are hiding something, not blinking is unnatural and makes you look a little crazy.

You’ve heard the term, “Make love to the camera!”  Probably not the appropriate look you want to portray, but do look at the camera the way you would look at a good friend or loved one.  This will make you look more relaxed and approachable.

blond reporter

What to do with your hands

I was a commentor for The Royal Wedding on a Live Morning Show.  Later, when I watched the recording I noticed that I held my hands clasped behind my back, in a weird position in the middle of my back, the ENTIRE time.  I was mortified, it made me look two football fields wide!  I’m a hand talker and I didn’t want to wave my hands around because it is distracting to the viewers.  Instead of clasping my hands behind my back, I should have kept my arms slightly bent with my hands open naturally infront of my hips.  This is subconscious body language that shows I am engaged, open and trustworthy.

Research, research, research

You don’t want to be caught off guard, so make sure you know the topic inside out.

Be Genuine

If you don’t know the answer to something, just say so.  You will look foolish and be found out if you give false information.  That interview and free publicity could ruin you if you lie.

I know this was a lot of advice and too much to remember all at once, so the biggest take away is “Look good, feel good.”

How to help get your work featured

Media Badges

by Guest Blogger, Amy Stevenson, WPICC of EventSource.ca

An Introduction

The décor was perfect, the flowers gorgeous and the bride and groom were both stunning.  You receive all the polished photos from your wedding photographer and you know for certain, you’ve got yourself a winning blog submission that will for sure grab the attention of new clients!

So now comes the hard part: with so many media outlets out there, which wedding website, blog or magazine will work best for you?

As a blog editor, I see dozens of submissions each day. Here are my tips for finding the right media outlet and how to get your work noticed and – most importantly – published!

Be Clear on your Objective

It’s time to be real with yourself and decide on exactly what you want to get out of having your work published. Are you looking to attract new local clients? Are you looking to bolster your brand’s cachet? Perhaps you’re just starting out and you’re looking to garner the attention of other industry professionals?

Once you’ve determined your end-goal in having your work published, you can then determine the best place to start pitching your idea.  This brings us to our next point:

pink wedding dress

Research your media outlet

Sometimes we receive submissions where it’s apparent that someone does not understand what we do or who our market is. It’s likely they have submitted to as many outlets as they could find, essentially throwing their submission at the proverbial wall to see what sticks.

It certainly pays to do your homework to ensure that the media outlet to which you submit, does in fact target your desired audience and fits well with your predetermined objective.

For example, let’s say your goal is to target new clients: it would make the most sense to find local media outlets that are firmly entrenched with your desired audience. They can get your work in front of the people that are most likely pick up the phone or send an email to inquire about your services.

It’s also important to look at the styles of features they publish. If your event is a DIY wedding, it likely doesn’t make sense to submit it to an ultra, high end blog or magazine (unless of course, the DIY is incredibly impressive!).

Each media outlet will publish their requirements for submission so make sure you read that section carefully. Do you have enough photos? Do they only publish colour photos and you have mostly black and white? Submitting with the wrong requirements can cause delay and perhaps even lead to your work not being considered – even if it is otherwise fantastic!

Couple from above

It’s about the Details…

This goes hand-in-hand with reading up on the submission requirements. Once you have the technical items taken care of, it’s time to “wow” the editor.

My favourite submissions are those that include personal stories from the wedding planner, photographer and of course the bride and groom! We love to hear about the story behind the submission: what sort of stand-out features were at the event?  Were there any interesting customs or traditions?  What made the event so unique?

Readers want to be drawn into the wedding and to feel as though they were there, so that they can relate and picture your submission as their own.  The more details you can provide, the more compelling an article we can write, the better the results you will receive.

What to do once you’ve been published

Getting your work published on a reputable blog or magazine is a full-on brag-worthy accomplishment! But it’s not just about opportunities; it’s about what you do with them!

To make the most of your newfound exposure, social media is your tool of choice. Your fans and followers want to hear all about your victories and accomplishments. Everyone wants to work with a winner: reinforce this fact wherever possible your fans will become more engaged with your brand (even if you’re the modest type in real life).

Most blogs and magazines offer badges and graphics you can use to display on your website or email signatures. Badges act as perpetual ringing endorsements from third-party sources – why not take advantage of them? Displaying your “achievements” prominently on your website not only looks great, but provides current and prospective clients additional reassurance that they’ve “come to the right place”.

Social Media bubbles

In Conclusion

Like any form of marketing, blog submissions are an ongoing process that can yield some pretty serious results over time. To maximize your efforts, start off right by being clear on your objectives and submitting to the appropriate media outlet. Let the publisher know exactly why your submission is so awesome by including lots and lots of details. Once published, maximize your efforts by sharing your achievements on social media and displaying a graphic on your website.

We are fortunate that our industry is chock-full of incredible opportunities. It’s how you optimize and maximize these opportunities that can be the difference between a good opportunity and a great one.

Amy Stevenson Event SourceAmy Stevenson, WPICC, lives to discover all the newest and most fabulous event and wedding trends.  Drawing from over 10 years in the industry, Amy compiles her fabulous finds daily on the EventSource.ca Blog. 

EventSource is Toronto’s leading online event planning site.  Through this, Amy connects and works with Toronto’s most talented vendors, showcasing the absolute best of the Toronto weddings and event scene!

Amy’s love for weddings is matched only by her love for animals. Amy acts on the board of directors of a charity raising funds to build a new animal shelter.

5 Things You can Do Right Now to Improve Your Wedding Planning Business

By: Tracey Manailescu

meeting new peeps

1. Surround yourself with like minded individuals:
Do you have nay-sayers in your life? Maybe it’s time to step away and move over to the other side, you know the side where people are lifting you up instead of tearing you down? People who encourage you to dream bigger, invest wiser and offer tips and guidance as to help you grow personally and professionally. Get active in professional groups (WPIC Alumni Association, MPI, ISES to name a few) to learn and communicate with people who have been there, and can offer sound advice and encouragement. Have a coffee night with some wedding pros who are interested in growing their businesses, or a veteran who is willing to listen and critique your marketing strategies, attend networking events, and open houses to see what is out there. Be open to possibilities and watch YOU grow!

As Seen on WPIC button

2. Celebrate your successes:
Share your accomplishments with people who will be happy for you.  It is so exciting to be mentioned in an article, featured in a magazine, get a glowing review from your couples, get an award, get your website, logo and business cards professionally done, register your business, selecting a company name, etc.  Whatever it is, you need to share this with people who will be happy for you. Share it on social media, on the WPIC Alumni baords, invite someone out for a drink, go out to dinner with your better half and just relish in the feeling for a little bit. You worked hard for this moment, so enjoy it!

www.wpic.ca

3. Believe in yourself: 
Everyone, yes everyone, is good at something. What is it that makes you a great wedding planner?  Are you fantastic at keeping couples within their budget?  Are you amazing at design and execution? Can you create timelines and logistics like nobody’s business? Do you have mad customer service skills? Do you problem solve and put everyone at ease? Do you take charge and keep things moving when family influences are threatening to ruin the harmony? Whatever it is that makes you stand out from the crowd, be that. Own it and build your business with it.

SMART formula written on a chalkboard

4. Know your weaknesses: 
It is impossible to be good at everything. There is always going to be someone who knows more, makes more, has more influence, and who you look up to and admire. Thank goodness for that.  Life would be pretty boring if you thought you were the be all, end all of weddings (and if you think you are, then ummm…Houston, we have a problem!). Once you know who you are and what you need to work on, go and do it! Study, watch and grow yourself. Always try to be a better version of you.

quote

5. Write it out:
All of the above mentioned points seems pretty much like common sense, right? So what are you waiting for? Go make a list of things you are good at, things you need to improve, and things you want to accomplish. Break these down into things to work on this week, this month and then this year. Thing always become much more real, and you will feel much more accountable when these are laid out in front of you. Give yourself deadlines and challenges for success. Go on, get growing!

www.wpic.ca

Photo:
www.avenue-photo.com

Tracey Manailescu is the Co-Founder of WPIC inc. and has been a professional wedding planner for 15 years. She also owns the wedding planning firm, Tracey M Events.

You have seen her quoted in many different newspapers, magazines, on television and in Blogs giving expert wedding and business advice.  Weddings and events that Tracey has coordinated have also been featured. 

She regularly speaks at Wedding Conferences around the world.

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

www.weddingprocourses.com

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)

Budget

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.

Style

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)

Taste

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.