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WPIC Does Las Vegas & Wedding MBA 2014

By: Tracey Manailescu

www.wpic.ca

Photo:
www.avenue-photo.com

www.wpic.ca

WPIC’s Co-founders (Danielle and I) led a seminar on “International Wedding Trends” and ran a double booth with some amazing helpers (Kim Choy, Daniela Caputo, Sue Morris) to promote WPIC and our Wedding Pro Workshops at Wedding MBA in Las Vegas this year. *Also a special mention to Kristy Sherwood and Sara Long for helping us set up our booth.

Some of the highlights that we touched on in our seminar were naked cakes, hand-painted cakes (and we even had real examples) thanks to the amazing and talented peeps at It’s a Piece of Cake, string art for table numbers, clay bouquet pieces, Colour blocking with bridesmaids dresses, dip-dyed wedding dresses, the crazy McDonald’s weddings phenomena in Hong Kong, and mini beach balls which we threw out into the audience to end our seminar.

Also wanted to give a shout-out to the Linen Closet for supplying our pillows and table runners. Wedding MBA collage

There were over 2800 attendees in attendance this year! Unbelievable.

Wedding MBA class photo

We managed to squeeze in some fun (of course) with a WPIC Get-Together with 17 WPIC Alumni from Canada, Barbados and the Bahamas. We went on a 3 hour tour with 24-7 Limousines in an armoured truck around Las Vegas to Little White Wedding Chapel, a private tour of Caesar’s Palace wedding hot spots, a stop at the infamous Las Vegas sign, and ended the evening with VIP entrance to Coyote Ugly.

www.wpic.ca

WPIC Alumni

www.wpic.ca

WPIC Alumni in Las Vegas

www.wpic.ca www.wpic.ca

 

 

www.wpic.ca

WPIC Alumni

www.wpic.ca

Photo courtesy of: Kim Choy

 

We witnessed a vow renewal at A Little White Wedding Chapel, and WPIC Instructor, Daniela Caputo had step in to save the day when the couple didn’t understand the Officiate because she didn’t speak French (the couple were from France).  Daniela jumped in to save the day by translating the entire Vow renewal ceremony :)  Talk about being in the right place at the right time…

www.wpic.cawww.wpic.ca www.wpic.ca

Photo credit: www.imaginestudioslv.com

Photo credit: www.imaginestudioslv.com

 

www.wpic.ca

*All photos were taken by Tracey Manailescu, unless otherwise noted.

 

 


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!


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

 

 


8 Must-Follow Wedding Inspiration Pinboards

Headshot of Danielle Andrews Sunkel WPIC

Photo by BrockPhoto.ca

by Danielle Andrews Sunkel

As a Wedding Professional, part of your job is staying on top of wedding trends, knowing what is new and exciting and being in the loop as to what couples are looking for.  Pinterest makes scouring hundreds of magazines and blogs unnecessary.

Pinterest can be a job in itself, there is so much to see, and only so little time to view all the wedding gorgeousness.  Here I have narrowed down some “Must Follow” Pinterest boards for you.  But don’t just follow their board, follow the pinner, because really, all of their stuff is great!

#8
The Wedding Planners Pinboard
TheWedPlanners ~ Everything Wedding
With a bunch of WPIC Certified Wedding Planners pinning what they feel is the best of Pinterest, how can you go wrong?

#7
perfect palette pinboard
The Perfect Palette ~ Color Palettes

#6
Picture 4
The Frosted Petticoat ~ Inspiration
Winner of the Huffington Post’s “Best Wedding Pinner” title.

#5
Style Me Pretty Pinboard
Style Me Pretty ~ Wedding Details
Of course Style Me Pretty had to be mentioned.

#4
Bridal Musings pinboard
Bridal Musings ~ weddings . fashion . beauty
Lots of great inspiration in this pinboard.

#3
Pretty my Party pinboard
Pretty My Party ~ Wedding Centerpieces & Tablescapes
Personally I follow ALL their gorgeous boards, but this one is a good start.

#2
Picture 4
The Wedding Chicks ~ Wedding Decor & Details
Love, love, love their pins and boards.

#1
Miss Millioneress pinboard
The Millionairess ~ The Bridal Show
This is another board with lots of contributors, many are wedding professionals.


Fondant-haters Rejoice: Naked Wedding Cakes

Headshot of Danielle Andrews Sunkel of WPIC
by Danielle Andrews Sunkel

Scour Pinterest for wedding cakes and you are sure to come across this new trend in weddings: Naked Cakes.

image from 1.bp.blogspot.com
Source: rosesandlace.co.uk

When I first saw naked cakes hit the scene, I wasn’t a fan, I love the whole cake as art thing.  What I quickly realized though, is that the beauty is in the simplicity of these cakes.

image from www.pinterest.com
Source: Momofu Milk Bar

As you can plainly see, these cakes have a great icing to cake ratio and for those who haven’t acquired the Wedding Planner’s requisite taste for fondant, there is no need to peel any layers off. ;)

image from www.bakermama.com
Source: BakerMama

Would you suggest a “Naked Wedding Cake” to your couples?


WPIC Tours Niagara Falls With Peter Merry

By Jacqueline Swadi, WPICC of One Sweet Day (Halton Region WPIC representative)

On the Canada Day long weekend, I had the thrill of welcoming my dear friends Peter Merry and his better half Audrae to our side of the pond.  We spent Saturday afternoon together, just catching up over a late lunch and enjoying the amazing weather.  I was thrilled that my husband was able to join us for the fun, as we’ve all waited years for him and Peter to finally meet.  After filling our bellies with some good ol’ Firkin pub grub, we walked it off until we met up with our good friend, Mr. Bill McElree, WPICC – DJ, planner, and officiant extraordinaire ofAbsolute Weddings based in Sudbury, Ontario.

Niagara Falls

The five of us had the pleasure of enjoying an incredible meal in the revolving restaurant overlooking the Falls on a gorgeous evening.  It all seemed to happen so fast, but our day had come to an end, and I was about to do it all over again on Sunday!

On Sunday, I left bright and early with my friend and colleague Tanya (7a.m.  Eek!) and we met up with Peter, Audrae & Bill for breakfast before we headed out on our day long tour with Niagara Parks with WPIC Alumni.

We had an incredible day of seeing the amazing venues and best kept secrets that Niagara has to offer our clients.  We started our day by being treated to coffee, tea, scones & danishes at the gorgeous

Legends on the Niagara property.  What stunning views this gem has to offer, and the staff are incredible!

Elements on the Falls has such an incredible view for weddings, and is such a reasonable space for the value it offers.  Pop & Lolly’s is just across the way, and the sweets they have to offer should be more than enough to entice you.  It’s like being a kid all over again, living right inside your very own Charlie & the Chocolate Factory experience!  The amazing Niagara Parks staff sent us all away with incredible goodie bags, however I will state for the record right now, that I was very well behaved!

At Queenston Heights, we were treated to a lovely brunch along with a Musket Demonstration and reenactment skit.

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I had set up the book signing table, and Peter gave one of his most well received presentations on Showcasing Your V.A.L.U.E. – which is all about exceeding your clients expectations by verifying, affirming, listing, underscoring and exhibiting – all in the name of providing the WOW factor for your couples.

Peter’s presentation exceeded everyone’s expectations, and everyone walked away with some serious food for thought.  But, to be honest – this really doesn’t surprise me.  On a professional level, I have seen Peter present many topics, and never has he disappointed.  Not once.  When Peter speaks, people listen.  He has a way of offering education and knowledge, that keeps you entertained and interested.   He is extremely passionate about what he does, and gets his point across in a unique way that has you wanting more.  He is actually like this in friendship as well.  Many heated discussions later, Peter finds passion in every topic he discusses.  Go big or go home, right?

I don’t know about all of you, but when I hear a speaker presenting, it has to be fun, motivating, educational, inspiring.  If it feels like paint drying, you have lost my interest no matter how hot the topic is.

Peter then took pictures with our WPIC gang, and signed copies of his amazing book ‘’The Best Wedding Reception…Ever!”.  I highly recommend that everyone runs out and grabs a copy of the book.  If not for yourself, then for your clients.  It’s an extremely valuable tool.

As if all of this was not enough, we still had a full afternoon ahead!  We went to the Butterfly Conservatory, the Floral Showhouse, we took horse and carriage rides to Wedding Arbour and Willow Pond, we went on the Whirlpool Aerocar above the Niagara whirlpool…250 metres above the water!  We also visited the Whirlpool Restaurant where we took a break with some fruit and punch snacks before continuing on our way to Edgewater.

Lewiston-20130630-00968

 

 

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I have really only touched on some of the amazing things that we got to see and do while visiting Niagara Parks.  Peter & Audrae were just along for the ride, and we were so honoured and thrilled to have them.

Our day ended around 5:15, and everyone headed home.  Peter, Audrae, Bill & myself stuck around Niagara for the Canada Day festivities.  We had dinner, walked around, saw the fireworks, did the Journey behind the Falls,

and they even got to light up the Falls and received official certificates from Niagara Parks stating they were now official Niagara illuminators.  How amazing is that?

IMG-20130630-00987

Although I’m positive both Peter & Audrae can attest to this visit being way too short, we sure did have a jam packed weekend.  There was no time or room for boredom!

Obviously for me, the saddest part was saying goodbye.  This is the challenge of being a part of such a diverse industry.  You meet people, make really good friends all over the world and you have no control over the people you build relationships with and care about, no matter how far away they are or how often you see them.

A huge thank you to Sue Zareski,WPICC, with Niagara Parks Commission for turning a wish into a reality yet again.  You’re amazing!

And to my amazing friends, Peter & Audrae:  Hope you had the best time….ever ;)

Until we meet again!

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Ten Tips to Create a Fabulous Wedding Style-Shoot

Tracey Manailescu Co-founder of WPIC inc.By: Tracey Manailescu

Styleshoot Ideas

Wedding style-shoots are a great way to show your style, and who you want to market your business to.  It’s also a great way to get some media attention out to all of those couples who are in need of a WPIC certified wedding coordinator, like yourselves ;)

Sure it sounds like a great idea, but where do you start?  How much will you need to invest?  How do you get vendors to work with you to collaborate? Read on to find out.

I have personally done 4 styleshoots at this time and absolutely love them!  Each one has been a learning process for me and I think they have improved each time.

Here are some of my tips based on personal experience:

1. Choose a Theme and Style that  Relates to the Clientelle That You Want to Attract

Your creative inspiration needs to reflect your target market.  Everyone has their ideal client in mind.  Who is it? Create your photoshoot for them! Do you want to work with multicultural couples, destination weddings, couples on a budget, same-sex couples, high-end couples, etc.  Whatever and whoever it is, make sure your vision is understood. This means the models you use, the wedding dress and suits, the stationery, the style of photography, the shoes that the models are wearing, the jewelry, the linens, the centrepieces, the props, all need to match to be a part of the overall look and feel of the style-shoot.

2. Be Prepared to Spend Money on Your Style-Shoot

When you are just starting out, no matter how wonderful you think your ideas and theme is, please remember that you are still asking people to invest their time, money and efforts into the style-shoot.  No one wants to work for FREE.  No one! Unless you are guaranteed, or at least have a pretty good chance of getting published, vendors are not going to be jumping at your feet to work with you. If you are already established and have a good reputation in the industry, it will be much easier to collaborate with the team of vendors you want for the style-shoot. This means, be prepared to spend some money. A good range is the $1000-2000 range.  Remember that anything you spend to market your company is a tax write-off for you at tax-time, keep those receipts! Make sure you write on the back of the receipt what the item is, and what it was used for. (ie. Pewter candelabra for Sept. 15, 2013 Styleshoot at Paletta Mansion.) We did two separate style-shoots in Rome, Italy last summer. We had two photographers and one we paid, and one did it just to be involved.  It didn’t make any difference in the quality of the shoot or the photos. They were both amazing!

Work as a team

3. Work as a Team

Sure, the style-shoot may have been your idea, but everyone involved will want to add their ideas and input.  Rightly so. Everyone involved is a part of it’s success. Listen and ask for input.  Let the vendors do what they do best. If they are a photographer, then they know the shots and angles along with lighting that will work best. If they are a designer, then they know fabrics, florals and textures that will showcase their product and design best. Show your appreciation.  Sometimes it is as simple as saying, “Thank you” in a hand written note, a shout out on social media,  or giving a small token of appreciation.

4. Be Prepared for Vendors to Say No

This is a hard one to deal with.  You know what you are capable of, and what you will be bringing to the table for the style-shoot, but if you have never worked with a particular vendor before, then they may be a bit timid or leary of putting their name to something of this magnitude. Again, this goes back to vendors getting paid for their services for the style-shoot , or just deciding that your company may not be a good fit for their style and direction for their company. Vendors should be selected and chosen because of similar styles, tastes and personalities.  Would you suggest this vendor to your couples? Try not to take it personally if the vendor does not want to be involved at this time.

Beautiful outdoor ceremony

5. Don’t Clutter or Over-Power Your Space

Try to remember that decor and florals should be amplified about 3 times as much for photos.  What looks great in person, will not look the same in photos. Go bigger, blingier and fuller to showcase best. On the flip side, don’t try to cram everything into one space.  Detail shots are very important for publication. Let every item have it’s own identity. An example is stationery.  The invitation, menu, seating cards, programs, place cards etc. don’t need to be all lumped together.  Let them shine in small doses without a ton of props surrounding them for the photos.  It may look better in person but can take away the desired intention in the photo. (Good tip, Kim Choy of Morganley Events!)

6.  Plan Ahead

Use mood boards, utilize Pinterest’s secret boards and share your ideas with the vendors involved. This way everyone is on the same page with theme, colour choices and the direction for the style-shoot.  By planning ahead you can see what else you need to add, and what is going to be the focus of the shoot. For shoots that I have done, one focused on the location, while another was on the season (winter) and yet another, was based around a couple, and a theme.  The next one (already in the works) is based around a country.  It is very easy to get carried away, and have too many details.  Make sure they all have a use that goes with the overall big picture.

7. Pick a Theme That is Not Overdone or Seasonal Dependant

I did a Winter styleshoot last year, and was so happy with the way it turned out.  Everyone involved worked so hard to put this together…  however, we needed snow and there was no snow until the end of the season.  When we got it done, got the photos back (which was lighening quick, I might add,) it was too late for submission :( I will be submitting it in the next month in the hopes that it will get picked up for this winter’s publications of Winter-themed Style-shoots.  This summer, publications were flooded with Gatsby-themed shoots, so unless they were completely creative and over the top, it would lessen the chance of getting picked up for publication. Also be careful of the colours of the season unless it is not one of the top two choices, because again, it will be overdone.

Homemade Jam Favours

8. It’s All in the Details

This is not a wedding. This is about inspiration and ideas to carry out a theme. The more creative you and your team can be, the better.  Yes, of course you need to have some great photos of the models, but it truly is about the details. Be unique, and show off ideas that are new and different then what is out there. Find a new way to show off a seating chart, stationery, backdrops, altar, food stations, dessert bars, ceremony set-up, etc. that couples can see as special, but also can visualize as part of their own wedding.

9. Stay True to You

The style-shoot is your chance to show everyone around you just what you are all about and what you are capable of. Don’t try to be something you are not.   You may adore the look and feel of a destination wedding, but have no desire or inclination to work with a couple for a destination wedding. You may love the look of a Chinese tea ceremony or the look and feel of Hindu celebrations, but don’t know the first thing about working with these cultures, and have no desire to do so.  Once you put something out to the universe, it usually reciprocates. Everything you do represents you and your company. Be yourself and it will come naturally. You will attract like-minded clients

10.  Submitting

A great place to for your photographer to send submissions through is Two Bright Lights This is a company who has found hundreds of publications where submissions can be sent.  Make sure your style-shoot is the right fit for the publication ahead of time. (Please note for copyrights, only the photographer can submit the photos from Two Bright Lights). They have a handy little tool where you can see who is looking for a particular theme and when the deadline for submissions is. They also list so many publications all around the world that you may never have thought of submitting to.  It opens up a whole new world!
You can also submit directly to a publication from their own website. It should have a submissions page for you to see the rules of sizing, ways to submit, what they need from you, and expectations. This way a wedding planner can submit. (*Some still require that only the photographer can do it.) Usualy you will need to submit 15-100 photos 600 x 900 pixels (at least) with a great description of the wedding and pointing out the details that made it unique. You will need to list all vendors and their websites so that everyone gets proper credit.
This is your chance to let your creativity, passion and creative juices go wild. Show the wedding world what you are all about.

WPIC Alumni: Have fun and make sure to share your accomplishment with us on the WPIC Alumni Association Boards. We will Facebook and Tweet your success!


Voluntouring – The Newest Trend in Destination Weddings

Destination wedding voluntouring
by Danielle Andrews Sunkel

Increasingly, instead of just going somewhere lovely and hot, Destination Wedding couples are choosing locations that are near and dear to their hearts. They love these locations and of course the culture and the people, so they are trying to help the area of their nuptials through Voluntouring.

Voluntouring combines the love of travel with giving back to the place you are touring. You can contact a charity that is working locally and help them out for a day or two, or there are many tourism companies that have voluntouring programs.  You can choose to help with a building project, set up games for at-risk kids, help farm, clean-up projects, you name it people can use your help.  Some resorts have voluntouring programs, like the Sandals Resorts’ “Sandals Foundation“, where you can visit local schools and read to the children to help encourage literacy, or the Palace Resorts “Palace Foundation” eco-tourism and save the sea turtle programs.

voluntour

Not only will the wedding party and guests get to see the real culture and people of that country, but they will also get the great feeling and memories from the experience, that will last a lifetime.


Personal Touches to Inspire Your Clients

By: Tracey Manailescu

Personality is key to weddings these days. Couples depend on us for suggestions and out-of-the-ordinary ideas to make their weddings stand out,  and to show their guests a glimpse into their world.

Let’s face it, sometimes our creativity hits a wall… It’s time to get inspired!

I found some really cute ideas to help our clients add some fun and personality to their wedding with props and decor that is easily accessible and at reasonable prices, too.

Customized Photobooths:

Wedding Star Phtobooth

Wedding Star Photobooth

Personalized photobooths are always a hit!  Guests can grab some family and friends to strike a pose. Have some props available such as hats, glasses, mustaches, etc. There are a ton of companies out there that offer this service.  Or, a cost saving alternative is to let the photographer do their thing (please don’t ever go without a professional photographer for the actual wedding photos), and have a booth like the one above from Wedding Star available with a family member or friend behind the lens.

Personalized seating charts:

Gone are the days of seating charts with little to no pizzazz. All you need to do is go on Pinterest or open up your favourite wedding blog or magazine.  You are sure to get blown away with some ideas that will get your clients excited.

seating chart

Credit: Etsy

End of the night “Food To Go”:

We all love the late night food stations such as poutine, seafood, hambugers and sweets. Take it a step further…What is more thoughtful after a great night of food, drinks and entertainment, then a farewell gift to eat from the happy couple?

midnight snack

popcorn to go

Chef’s Market created this Popcorn-to-Go station at an Open House they held in Nashville.

Groom’s cakes are making a comeback:

Groom’s are having so much more say in the wedding planning these days. A time honoured tradition can be modernized with favourite flavours, decorations and adornments.

www.palermobakery.com

www.palermobakery.com

Cake created by: Palermo Bakery

Boutonnieres:

I adore this idea. Make the guests see what makes the Groom tick.  So fun!

www.thebouquethouse.com

Photo credit: PhotobyWillie (Willie Lam)     Boutonnieres: The Bouquet House

Instagram:

Polaroid has teamed up with Instagram Socialmatic.
http://www.fotorater.com/photography/2012/06/instagram-camera-to-become-a-reality/ This means no great photo needs to go untaken.

Instagram

Hashtags: are a great way to get the guests to upload their thoughts and highlights of their experience at the wedding. #SarahandBethgethitched #JennaandTitustietheknot This can be used for Instagram and Twitter.


WPIC Certifies Hard Rock Mexico Wedding Department

by Danielle Andrews Sunkel

We’d like to welcome the newest members of the Hard Rock Wedding Team to be WPIC Certified!

Hard Rock Wedding Team members from Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, Aventura and Punta Cana

In October, Tracey and I travelled to the Hard Rock Cancun to WPIC-train the remaining members of the wedding team who are not WPIC certified (many of the team were certified when they were apart of the Palace Resorts team.)  As you may have read, we were in the Dominican Republic in September at the Hard Rock Punta Cana to certify the on-site team.

We are so proud to call the Hard Rock All Inclusive Wedding Team “WPIC Alumni”, they are all absolutely fantastic, creative, customer-oriented individuals.

The Hard Rock All Inclusive Collection is home to the Colin Cowie Wedding Collection.  Destination Wedding couples can choose from Hard Rock’s free customizable wedding or one of 8 Colin Cowie designed weddings!  Here are a few of the ceremony set-ups:

Colin Cowie Collection “Rocker Chic”

Colin Cowie Wedding Collection “Seaglass”

Gorgeous, aren’t they?  To see the whole collection, visit the Hard Rock All Inclusive Collection website.