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Branding Your Business- The Importance of Standing Out From the Crowd

www.weddingprocourses.com

Photo: www.avenue-photo.com

By: Tracey Manailescu

*As seen on the Event Source blog.

We all know the basic fundamentals of having a brand; a great and easy to navigate website, tagline and logo, competitive pricing, valuable services, etc.

You are your business, and your business is you and it’s time to take it a bit further. By being authentic, having a presence on social media, knowing your target market and giving good customer service, you are creating a brand that you should feel great about.

brand

Be your Authentic Self:

The best way to be authentic with your customers is to be true to your brand.

You need to be communicating your brand clearly, consistently and continuously.

Believe it or not, it‘s actually not that hard to stand out from the crowd.

We all have our own way of doing things based on situations and experiences that we have had over the course of our lifetime. The things that we believe in, the way we handle difficult clients, tricky situations, deadlines and customer service. It all comes down to our own individual strengths and weaknesses. Take a good hard look at both of these things, and put your strengths into play. Not so sure about what your strengths and weaknesses are? Ask your past clients, good friends, trusted family members and industry colleagues what they see as your best attributes, skills and things you need to work on. Keep in mind that you don’t want just anyone to be ripping you apart; this is supposed to be eye-opening and helpful, after all. After they have chewed you up and spit you out, really think about it and listen to what they have to tell you, and make changes as you see fit.

Social Media:

Social media can be an excellent source for branding, and a great tool for marketing your business to the wedding and events industry. Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, blogging and Google+ are available free to you to share your products, services and personality with existing and potential clients. Use them to show glimpses of what goes on in your business and what you do on a regular basis with the use of photos, things you discuss, your comments, and interact with your followers. Share positive feedback from past clients, show photos of you with your clients, photos of yourself and your team working at a wedding or event, share exciting news about your company, share behind the scenes photos at weddings and events, etc.

*70% of consumers prefer getting to know a company via articles than ads.

Know Your Target Market:

Who are your clients? You need to know who you are talking to with your marketing. What age are they, what is their average household income? Where do they live? What are they willing to spend on your service or product? What is their style? Everything you do with your business should be aimed at them. You need to understand your target market and be able to give them what they want and need. When you know and understand this, then you can look at where these potential clients are looking online and off, to find your type of services.

Give Good Customer Service:

This should be your company’s priority. Our businesses are built on personal interactions and client expectations. The best advice I can give on this subject is to put yourself in the position of your clients. What would make you feel good about working with your company? Are you making your clients feel special, that they are important to you, and that you care and are passionate about your service? Are you listening and finding a solution to their concerns and problems? If you have had complaints in the past, did you own up to the mistakes? Did you learn from them? What can you do to ensure it doesn’t happen again? Be professional, prompt, know your industry and product, under promise and over deliver, understand what your clients want and need from you, listen, and make sure you understand exactly what it is they want from you, and make your clients satisfaction a priority.

**70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated.

 

Source: *Ann Handley http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/227379

**Mckinsey http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/organization/the_moment_of_truth_in_customer_service

What’s in Your Wedding Emergency Kit?

www.wpic.ca

Photo:
www.avenue-photo.com

By: Tracey Manailescu Emergency Kit from Bottles and burbs Photo: Bottles and Burbs

Bridesmaids dresses bursting at the seams, groomsmen with bad breath, an obsession with clean hands, a bride who didn’t work in the wedding shoes, don’t worry.  We’ve got this! There hasn’t been a wedding that I have coordinated, that my Emergency Kit was not used.  It is invaluable to your couple, the wedding party and to you, as a wedding coordinator. My bag has a strap on it so it can be brought everywhere that I go with ease. It has different compartments to keep things organzied,  and has a cooling bag inside of it to keep an ice pack.  The most used items in my kit are a butane lighter and band-aids.

The butane lighter is great for lighting hard to reach candles in votive holders if the Decorator leaves before they need to be lit for guests entering the reception area, and the band-aids are great for the wedding party who haven’t worked in their wedding shoes. band aids butane lighter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some uses of items in Tracey M Events emergency kit: *Items may change at any given wedding

Hairspray/Static Guard: Bridesmaids dresses may cling in all of the wrong places. Spray a little static guard on the inside of the dress and, BAM, all is good! These two items seem to be interchangeable. A tip that I leaned from a dancer was to spray static guard or hairspray on the bottoms of the shoes (that don’t have treads on them) will make the soles slip proof. I used this trick for a Mother of the Groom one time, and she was freaking out. She couldn’t believe how well this worked!

Sunscreen: Sometimes couples forget to put sunscreen on before the makeup is applied, or just in general for all of those outdoor photos. Nothing worse then a sunburn:(

Evian Spray: This is great to refresh the entire wedding party! It’s also great to touch up the makeup.  Smudges and fine lines that may appear after all of that smiling and those tears of happiness. It won’t ruin the makeup and will make you picture perfect again. (Just use a q-tip or makeup pads/sponge to correct what needs to be touched up and removed.)

Advil/Tylenol: We have both for the simple fact that each does different things to different people. (*Please note that it is in original packaging, with the date of expiry clearly visable and checked before each wedding.) We can tell you we have it, take it out of our emergency kit, but then we have to place it on a flat service, unopened container, and let you open it yourself to take the Advil/Tylenol.

After Bite: We can’t stop you from getting bit or stung from all of those pesky bugs out there, but we can definitely give you some relief with After Bite spray.

Light Bulb: For Jewish weddings it is much easier to break a light bulb then to break a glass wrapped in cloth.  “Mazel tov!” We have actually had a light bulb shatter minutes before heading down the aisle at a wedding ceremony, and had to scramble to get a replacement from cleaning staff at a venue.  Now, we carry an extra, just in case :) The list goes on and on…Chances are though, it’s in our emergency kit!

What’s in Your Emergency Kit?

www.weddingprocourses.com

Photo: www.avenue-photo.com

By: Tracey Manailescu Emergency Kit from Bottles and burbs Photo: Bottles and Burbs

Bridesmaids dresses bursting at the seams, groomsmen with bad breath, an obsession with clean hands, a bride who didn’t work in the wedding shoes, don’t worry.  We’ve got this! There hasn’t been a wedding that I have coordinated, that my Emergency Kit was not used.  It is invaluable to your couple, your wedding party and to you, as a wedding coordinator. My bag has a strap on it so it can be brought everywhere that I go with ease. It has different compartments to keep things organzied,  and has a cooling bag inside of it to keep an ice pack.  The most used items in my kit are a butane lighter and band-aids.

The butane lighter is great for lighting hard to reach candles in votive holders if the Decorator leaves before they need to be lit for guests entering the reception area, and the band-aids are great for the wedding party who haven’t worked in their wedding shoes. band aids butane lighter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some uses of items in Tracey M Events emergency kit: *Items may change at any given wedding

Hairspray/Static Guard: Bridesmaids dresses may cling in all of the wrong places. Spray a little static guard on the inside of the dress and, BAM, all is good! These two items seem to be interchangeable. A tip that I leaned from a dancer was to spray static guard or hairspray on the bottoms of the shoes (that don’t have treads on them) will make the soles slip proof. I used this trick for a Mother of the Groom one time, and she was freaking out. She couldn’t believe how well this worked!

Sunscreen: Sometimes couples forget to put sunscreen on before the makeup is applied, or just in general for all of those outdoor photos. Nothing worse then a sunburn:(

Evian Spray: This is great to refresh the entire wedding party! It’s also great to touch up the makeup.  Smudges and fine lines that may appear after all of that smiling and those tears of happiness. It won’t ruin the makeup and will make you picture perfect again. (Just use a q-tip or makeup pads/sponge to correct what needs to be touched up and removed.)

Advil/Tylenol: We have both for the simple fact that each does different things to different people. (*Please note that it is in original packaging, with the date of expiry clearly visable and checked before each wedding.) We can tell you we have it, take it out of our emergency kit, but then we have to place it on a flat service, unopened container, and let you open it yourself to take the Advil/Tylenol.

After Bite: We can’t stop you from getting bit or stung from all of those pesky bugs out there, but we can definitely give you some relief with After Bite spray.

Light Bulb: For Jewish weddings it is much easier to break a light bulb then to break a glass wrapped in cloth.  “Mazel tov!” We have actually had a light bulb shatter minutes before heading down the aisle at a wedding ceremony, and had to scramble to get a replacement from cleaning staff at a venue.  Now, we carry an extra, just in case :) The list goes on and on…Chances are though, it’s in our emergency kit!

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

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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!

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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.