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Real Wedding- A & J

WPIC Cofounder, Tracey Manailescu shares a real wedding with us from her wedding planning company, Tracey M Events

*This wedding was previously featured on Event Source:

Jennifer Troietto and I had the pleasure of working with Amy & Joe on their “Night Club” themed wedding at the beautiful Winona Vine Estates. We still can’t believe how easy going and accommodating Mizzy and his staff were. A special thanks to Studio Chris for the photos. The venue was transformed inside and out by the talented Lynn Sousa & team of Classic CreationsWedding Decor. This couple’s wedding truly embodied what family, love and friendship is to us. There was so much love and happiness in every aspect of the day. Amy & Joe’s first priority was making their guests feel welcomed and beyond loved. They made sure to include their children and family in everything they did.

“Hi Tracey, I want to thank u very much for everything u have done for me!!! Sorry it’s that late but I have been crazy busy with the moving and new school and new life…Lol! Hope you guys are great and I hope to see u soon…maybe you can come for a barbeque one weekend…Xo xo xo”

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

A beautiful Romanian Orthodox ceremony, complete with chandeliers and doves took place on the grounds where the staged area was draped. They even thought to have umbrellas and fans at every chair for the sun and heat. A string trio was playing for the guests after the ceremony while the wedding party and couple went for photos.

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: Tracey's cell phone

Photo: Tracey’s cell phone

Photo: Tracey's cell phone

Photo: Tracey’s cell phone

Photo: Tracey's cell phone

Photo: Tracey’s cell phone

A&J35B

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

A&J36B

At the reception the guests were greeted by the couple and a great photo booth set up by BEN best entertainment network  at the entrance with a gorgeous blinged out 5×7 frame to keep the photos as a keepsake. A & J photobooth

Jennifer Troietto & Tracey Manailescu of Tracey M Events

Jennifer Troietto & Tracey Manailescu of Tracey M Events

When they went inside the ballroom an open bar, and a double martini luge along with a deluxe antipasto bar greeted them.

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Ummm…Did we mention the brides FAB shoes?

www.studiochris.ca

www.studiochris.ca

Live bands playing tradionional Romanian folk and modern music entertained everyone, along with a DJ playing club hits, that kept everyone on their feet all night long.

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

A bridal capture took place until the groom had to pay off the captures, two wedding dress changes, and then Brazilain Samba dancers came in and shook the place up even more.

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Guests were then asked to step outside, where sparklers were handed out for the cake cutting, and then a fireworks show amazed everyone.  This wedding was every Eastern European girls’ dream come true!

www.studiochris.ca

www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

The food was incredible and seemed never ending! Take a look at what was on the menu (these photos are only from the antipasto station):

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Photo: www.studiochris.ca

Deluxe antipasto bar Shopska salad Filet de sole served with chefs red pepper risotto Grilled long bone veal chop served with yukon gold, smoked gouda and bacon pave with a bundle of seasonal vegetables Platter of chicken al limone Rasberry sorbet with fresh berries Sweet table including wedding cake Fresh fruit and pastries Midnight buffet We are so happy to have been a part of Amy & Joe’s wedding. We wish them a lifetime of happiness and love!

Tracey M Events Tracey with Amy and Jow

Keeping Your Sanity During Wedding Season

www.wpic.ca

Photo:
www.avenue-photo.com

 

By: Tracey Manailescu

shutterstock_233116015 (2)

Typically wedding season is at it’s best from May-October.  All of the months meeting with clients and vendors prepping, organizing, and planning has come to this. Hopefully you are organized, and have kept client files to keep everything in order so that you can focus on the next steps. Depending on how many clients you, and your company, have taken on for the season can really make a difference in how the next several months are going to play out for you.

Some things that I have learned over the years:

You Are Not Alone. Since you are WPIC certified (you’re not?  Hmmm. What are you waiting for?) you have access to over 5000 wedding professionals in your WPIC Alumni Association from all over the world who have been there, and done that.  Ask questions, ask for advice.  Get together for coffee, or attend a WPIC get together (they always have professional development in mind). Find out what has worked best with your peers in similar situations. Need another assistant at the wedding? Well then you know where to go.

Some of the most caring and compassionate people that I have ever met, are in my WPIC family. Thank you for being there to listen, to offer tips, teach me new ways of doing things,  and to show support.  It’s an incredible feeling to know that you have my back.

Life doesn’t stand still for anyone. My biggest regret to date, is how much time I missed with my daughter when she was little before she went to school.  I was too busy focusing on clients, their weddings, and the growth of WPIC.  I can’t go back in time to fix this, but I can certainly make sure that I don’t make the same mistakes again. There is nothing more important to me than my family.  Nothing. Everything I do, and every decison that I make, is with them in mind.

As wedding professionals, we are invited to so many different events, grand openings, FAM trips, vendor appreciation nights, dinners and conferences etc.  While I consider myself extremely fortunate (believe me, I really do), there has to be a time to stop and think about is this something that I need to go to,or be a part of,  instead of just want to? That is why I made the decison to only take on what I can handle.  For me, I will only take on 2-3 wedding clients a year.  This way my couples are getting the best of me with my time and energy, and in return, I  am giving them the best that I can, too.

smell the roses

Stop and Smell the Roses: Take time to just breathe, and take in the beauty all around you. Lilacs are out in full force right now. They are my absolute hands down, favourite smelling flower in the world! I was driving to work last week and literally pulled over, and got out of my car to walk up and smell them on someone’s front lawn. It sounds so cheesy but it put a huge smile on my face.

When is the last time you went to the gym, went to a movie, went for a girls night out, had coffee with a friend, or went on a date night with your better half?  If you are just too busy, then maybe it’s time to re-evaluate, and think about your priorities.

Get Better Organizational Systems: There are so many great apps, calendars, programs and sytems to make your life easier. (Remember to keep your receipts, and claim the expenses on your taxes.) They make your work life easier and better for your clients. Need skills in a specific area?  There are so many webinars, seminars, self-help books, night classes and online classes available to you. Ask around, or just google it!

Photo from: The Inspired Room

Photo from: The Inspired Room

Make Your Office Space Yours: Make your office space yours, by making it visually appealing to you. Buy a new desk, chair, computer or shelving units that suit your style. Get some new file folders, binders, pens. Love that new blinged out tape dispenser and pair of scissors? Get them.  When things are organized around you, its proven that you feel more relaxed and calm.

It can be as simple as decluttering. Clean out your office space.  I just did this. How much crap can one person have? It’s kind of embarrassing to think of all of the things I had in my drawers and shelves that I thought I needed at the time. (I threw away 3 garbage bags, by the way.) I am amazed at how much more room I have and how much cleaner it looks. I had a row of outdated photos in frames on top of my desk that eerily reminded me of my grandmother’s house. What the hell was I thinking? We have had our office for 5 years, and I haven’t changed them up.

I went to Indigo last week and got so wrapped up in all of the amazing stuff that was available.  It took me 2o minutes to decide on a mug and a journal.  For real!  There are so many choices to make your space your own.

time management

Time Management: This is a biggie.  You know all of that time that gets wasted when you start surfing Pinterest and instagram or Facebook? Why not dedicate certain amounts of time to social media, writing blogs, researching vendors, working on client files, etc? You will be amazed at how blocking off time during your day for certain activities helps keep you on track. I am always so surprised when I see how much time I have spent looking at pretty table tops, florals and ideas for weddings when I don’t keep track of it. Ughhh…

I hope you all have a FABULOUS wedding season!

Do you have any tips and tricks that have worked for you over the years?  Please share in the comments section below.

Seriously Helpful Tools for Selecting Your Business Name

 

www.weddingprocourses.com

Photo: www.avenue-photo.com

By: Tracey Manailescu

Selecting your business name may be one of the hardest things a start up company will do. Whatever you choose, it needs to invoke a feeling within yourself and others, and be able to attract the right clients to your service. We are talking about weddings, of course, but it really can apply to any business. This name will be associated with you in the business world so make it a good fit.

Whats-in-a-Nme

Who Is Target Market? What type of couples are you trying to attract? Who do you want to work with? Budget, high-end, DIY, second marriages, LGBT, romantic, celebrities, etc. Think of 2-3 words that relate to your target market. What nouns and adjectives will best describe your target market?

Ask for Opinions from Friends, Family and Industry Peers: Your family and friends know you best. Ask them what words come to mind when they think of you and what type of clients they think you would work best with.

Is the Name Easy to Remember and Easy to Spell? Will people be able to remember your business name after hearing it? Will they be able to quickly search for it online without thinking twice? If it’s difficult to spell or in another language, then it may put a barrier in your way. Is it similar to another company’s name? If so, then it may just give the other company a leg up in a search. Is it a spin on spelling? FlowerZ, WeddingsZ may put you at a disadvantage right away.

All of the Good Names are Taken: Wrong. Stop being lazy and start being creative. Did you know that there are approximately 1,025,109 words in the English language? There is no need to make your name similar to someone else’s. Here is a great website specifically for finding “Adjectives Describing People and Personal Qualities Vocabulary Word List”: enchantedlearning.com  I love this!

 

Good-Name-Bad-Name

Hire a Copywriter: Seriously. There are companies that do this for a living, and it doesn’t have to be only for big corporations. You can work with them to get the right name for your company that invokes what you are trying to accomplish.

Availability? Check social media, domain searches, registries, look for both .ca or .com or wherever it is that you live in the world. A thesaurus can help out when there is another name that you love, but is too similar to someone else in the same industry. Did you know that there are some companies that will help you search for domain names based off of keywords that you select, and they are FREE?

Namemesh.com  dotomator.com  unique-names.com

Good luck! Do you have any other tips or suggestions? Please share below.

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 Not to be a “Negative Nelly” in the Wedding Industry

www.wpic.ca

Photo:
www.avenue-photo.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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.

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.

How do you Handle Stress?

By: Tracey Manailescu

www.wpic.ca

Photo:
www.avenue-photo.com

Did this wedding season seem overwhelming? Clients  suddenly demanded too much of your time and energy? Did you neglect everyone important in your life for the success of your company and couples? Wait a minute…Maybe it wasn’t them… Maybe, just maybe, it was you!

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As planners, it is in us to take charge, make sure everything is going as it should, and to be on top of everything.  However, that should not mean having to give up your entire home life routine. Your family and friends need you, too. We hear all to often about that infamous work/home life balance, and how it is so difficult to please everyone. How do you balance it all and still be a good mother/father, wife/husband, sister, friend, etc? Truthfully, there is no magic sytem to put in place, but there are ways you can deal.

I have mentioned this before…A few years ago, Danielle and I were in this exact position.  We were taking on way too much, traveling, teaching all over Canada and abroad, attending conferences and speaking at many of them, going on FAM trips, and working 12-14 hour days.  Our families suffered because of it. We were both at the point where our husbands had had enough. We had to decide what was best for us and of course, we chose our families first. We hired more instructors to teach the classes for us, we brought in interns to the office and we had to just say, “no”, to some great opportunities. Do we regret it?  Not at all.       www.wpic.ca

Here are some things to consider:

You Don’t Have to Do it All: You are not a Stepford Wife (aka: Robot). Do your children really need to be in figure skating, football,hockey, tutoring, soccer, gymnastics, AND swimming? Cut something out. Can you hire a maid, dog walker, share the driving back and forth to childrens’ activities with another parent, or give up cooking the elaborate meals all of the time?  Take a step back and re-evaluate.

Break up the “To Do”tasks. Similar to what you do with clients, break the list down (whether it is in your business or personal life) and focus on daily, weekly and monthly tasks, instead of the complete scenario. It suddenly becomes manageable, instead of completely overwhelming.

Prioritize: Take those lists and get to them. Whatever seems the most challenging and dreaded things to do, do them first!  Get them out of the way.

Delegate to Your Couples:  Put some of the ownership back on your couples (it is their wedding after all). Give some duties to the mothers. Not only will it please them, but it will make them feel connected and a necessary part of the wedding planning process. Sometimes we forget how much the parents want (and need) to be a part of this huge day in their childrens’ lives.  It is better to help guide with the direction it will go, then have them choose it on their own, right? Suggest things that their wedding party should/could be doing to help out. Having you sort through the never-ending duties and responsibilities, and then make suggestions on how to tackle them will put everyone at ease.  You can suggest a girls night-in. Ordering in from their favourite restaurant and of course, providing cocktails. The night will just happen to involve some DIY/DIT projects (*DIT is the new “it” thing to do, which stands for “Do It Together”). How can they say no?

Delegate to Your Family Members: The same thing applies for your home life as it does for your work life.  Are you pulling more weight than you should at home?  Can the children take on more chores?  Can your other half help out a bit more?  Maybe you need to sit down and have a family talk.

Consider What This Can Do for Your Business: Is it going to make you more money, or get your company media attention?  Will it open possibilities to you that just weren’t there before? If not, do you really need to add this to your busy schedule? You don’t need to take every opportunity that comes along.

Diet and Excercise: I know, I know.  You hear this all of the time.  It’s true though. Every single time I gain weight, I feel awful about myself, and my confidence goes downhill. So, I’ve just joined a new gym that’s closer to my home.  I needed to stop making excuses and get back into a routine. (Sadly, I paid bi-monthly for about 6 years at another gym that I went to sporadically at best). I’ve enlisted a friend to go with, and we are accountable to each other. I found that this helps a lot, as I can’t make excuses when she is relying on me to go with her.  Now if only I could give up popcorn…

Get a Good Sleep: I don’t know about you, but I am not at my best without 6-8 hours of sleep. I get grumpy, and have little patience for the silly things that come up on a daily basis when I am tired. I have way more patience and can face the challenges at work and home much better when I am rested.

Make Time for Those You Love: Schedule girls nights out once or twice a month with your besties (even more if you can) set regular date nights with your signifigant other (no kids allowed), do things as a family that do not involve TV. It really helps!  It gives you a chance to laugh, let loose and just be you, not work you.

Laugh: Take time to appreciate the little things, and be around those that make you laugh and smile.

What are some things that you find helpful to deal with stress?

WPIC Goes to Couples Resorts in Negril, Jamaica

By: Tracey Manailescu

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Photo:
www.avenue-photo.com

I’ve got Jamaica on my mind…Thanks to Couples Resorts!

After speaking at the Jamaica Bridal Conference and then having a booth at the Jamaica Bridal Expo (see previous blog) in Montego Bay, we were picked up by Couples and taken to Negril.  The last time we were in Negril, the roads were so windy that we needed Graval, now there is a much-improved highway, and it’s a relaxing hour and a half drive from Montego Bay.

Couples Swept Away, Negril JA

Couples Swept Away, Negril JA

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Couples Swept Away -Pro Pool

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Couples Swept Away -Vendors on the beach

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Beautiful sunset at Couples Swept Away

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Ceremony location at Couples Swept Away

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Spa at Swept Away

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Another gorgeous sunset at Couples Swept Away

When we arrived, we went straight into site visits of Couples Swept Away and then over to Couples Negril. Both are utterly charming in their own right. We had the absolute pleasure of staying three nights at Couples Swept Away to experience it as much as we possibly could in a short time frame. We were able to experience the beautiful beach, the fine dining, the bar(s), a massage at the spa, and a catamaran cruise at sunset.

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Couples Negril

Jamaica Negril pool

Pool at Couples Negril

Jamaica reception area at Negril

Reception location at Couples Negril

Jamaica Treehouse for massage Negril

Treehouse used for couples massages & private dinners for 2 at Couples Negril.

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Beach ceremony location at Couples Negril

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Couples Negril garden ceremony location

Shout out to the ladies on staff at Feathers at Couples Swept Away! They made our fine dining experience fun and memorable, and kept us laughing the entire meal.

We were able to meet with so many guests who were on their honeymoons, and who were having the time of their lives in this romantic, yet fun, atmosphere. There were also many guests that we spoke with, who were returning guests, or who were planning their next trip back already. I have to say, that I was doing the same, so that my husband and I could experience it as Couples Resorts intended. There is something about Negril that feels so right.  It is so laid back, relaxing, and yet has a fun and playful side to it. The beaches and sunsets are like nothing else, anywhere. Period. You know how some places say they are all inclusive, and for the most part they are.  Well, take a look at what Couples Resorts includes. I am NOT even kidding!!!

Couples Extraordinary Inclusions:

 

Activities & Amenities Tower Isle Sans Souci Negril Swept Away
Airport Transfers and Hotel Taxes MBJ MBJ MBJ MBJ
Exquisitely Appointed, Air-Conditioned Rooms & Suites 226 150 234 312
Telephone
Hair Dryer in Room
Cable TV
Iron and Ironing Board in Room
Coffee Maker in Room
IPOD/MP3 Docking Station in Room
Safety Deposit Box in Room
Personalized Mini Bar
Restaurants, from Gourmet to Casual 6 5 4 6
Fruit and Veggie Bar
Grill pool beach beach beach
In-Room Dining breakfast** breakfast
Bars 4 6 6 8
Piano Bar
Swim-Up Bar 2 1 1 1
Nightly Live Entertainment
Jacuzzi 4 3 4 5
PADI-Certified Scuba Dives
Snorkeling
Water-Skiing
Windsurfing
Sailing
Kayaking
Hobie Cat
Water Bike
Pedalos
Paddle Boards
Body Boards
Freshwater Pools 4 3 2 4
Lap Pool
Mineral Water Pool
Golf (Includes Green Fees & Transfer) ▲
Tennis Courts with Free Lesson * 3 astro turf (all lit) 2 hard (all lit) 4 hard (2 lit) 5 clay 5 hard (all lit)
Air-Conditioned Squash Courts 2
Air-Conditioned Racquetball Courts 2
Fully Equipped Gym, Aerobics, Yoga, Aquasize
Au Natural Sunbathing
Indoor Game Room
Complimentary Wedding Ceremony (with stay of 6 nights or more) ✤
Renewal of Wedding Vows (Pre-Arranged) ●
Complimentary Off Site Excursions
Dunns River Falls
Glass Bottom Boat Ride
Trip to Margaritaville
Shopping Shuttle
Catamaran Cruise
Trip to Popular Sunset Bar
Tour Desk
Complimentary Wifi
Spa Services ♦ ♥
Beauty Salon ♦
Gift Shop & Boutique ♦
Duty Free Shop ♦
24 hr food service, unlimited premium brand drinks, all tips and gratuities
We observe a strict no tipping policy at all our resorts in Jamaica.
✓ Included ‹ Except Atrium, Beachfront and Premier Suites. ▲ Clubs, carts and mandatory caddies not included. ♦ Available for a fee.
✤ Pre-arranged weddings incur a $250 pre-administration processing, government license and marriage certificate fee additional. ♥ Complimentary half -hour His and Her Massage available to Honeymooners and Romance Rewards benefits for repeat guests: conditions apply. * Once per stay. ** Dinner in suites.
Inclusions may be changed or withdrawn at any time, without notice.

WPIC at Jamaica Bridal Expo 2014

By: Tracey Manailescu

www.wpic.ca

Photo:
www.avenue-photo.com

Danielle and I were invited to speak at Jamaica’s Bridal Expo “Wedding Conference” on Friday, September 19th, 2014 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Montego bay, Jamaica. We presented, not one, but two seminars at the conference. We were in wonderful company amongst the other speakers (as seen below).

We were then invited to “Brides Night Out” at Robbie’s Kitchen which was by invitation only, in honour of the 10 couples who won a trip to Jamaica from Brides Magazine.

We also had a booth in the trade show of the Jamaica Bridal Expo on September 20th & 21st, 2014 to promote our WPIC certification course taking place in Jamaica on January 17th & 18th, 2015 at Couples San Souci.

I have to say we were treated like royalty by the amazing team of Executive Producers: Kathy Ann Everhart, Jo-Anne Paxton and Peter Shoucair J.P.  I cannot say enough about their warmth and kindness, as well as the utter professionalism they each showed throughout the entire weekend. Thank you. It was so appreciated! Not only did they work hard, but they made it look effortless with over 80 exhibitors, daily entertainment, fashion shows, a live wedding onstage, a wedding cake competition at the Jamaica Bridal Expo on the Saturday and Sunday.

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Photo: Max Earle

Photo: Max Earle

Jamaica Robbies Kitchen party 2014

Ms. Shoucair, Tracey Manailescu, Jo-Anne Paxton, Danielle Andrews Sunkel

Jamaica Robbies Kitchen Sign

Robbie’s Kitchen

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Moet & Chandon Champagne

Jamaica Robbies Kitchen party Tom & us 2014

Tom Curtain, Tracey Manailescu, Joy Agness, and Danielle Andrews Sunkel

We also ran into WPIC Alumni, Jennifer Borgh in Jamaica, too.  Actually we didn’t run into her, we were lucky enough to be treated out to dinner by her at none other than Robbie’s Kitchen the night we arrived.  How funny is that? Good thing we enjoyed it, because we were there two nights in a row!  This lady always makes it fun 😉

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Another highlight for me, was when I was asked to be a judge for the Cake Tasting competition. You bet I said yes!  Can you say “yum”?

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Whoo hoo! I was asked to judge the Cake Competition at the Jamaica Bridal Expo!

Some of the amazing booths at the Jamaica Bridal Expo:

Jamaica Bridal Expo Sharon Saint T Bair

Sharon Saint T Bair Event Designer and Consultant

Jamaica Bridal Expo Luxe Booth

Luxe Event Design -Showtime

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Tai Flora Services Ltd.

Wedding Planner Plus Jamaica

Wedding Planner Plus Jamaica

Moet & Chandon Champagne

Moet & Chandon Champagne

Jamaica Bridal Expo Photodayz Booth

Photo Dayz Imaging Lab

We were given oceanfront suites at Iberostar Rose Hall and the service and staff were so friendly and accommodating.  My awesome housekeeper, “Naudia” even helped me pack up the beach balls in bags for our seminar on the Friday morning.

We had a wonderful time and look forward to next time, Jamaica!