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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

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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.

Five Lessons Learned in My First WPIC Certified Year

poonam

 

 

 

 

 

 

By: Poonam Saini, WPICC of P.S. Eventful

Five Lessons Learned in My First WPIC Certified Year

When I decided to become a wedding planner, there was one thing I knew for certain: I need to be certified. After all, you wouldn’t call yourself a lawyer without receiving a LL.B. right? To me, a WPIC certification meant necessary credibility and invaluable education.

Last June (2014), I took the plunge and dedicated 22+ hours in one weekend (or three months via correspondence) to begin my journey to becoming a Certified Wedding Planner. The hours may sound daunting at first, but in actuality one weekend (and two weeks afterwards) is hardly a tough commitment to make in gaining your WPIC certification. As I look back, it was the best decision I made to start my career as a Wedding Planner.

 

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The five lessons I’ve learned in my first year as a WPIC Alumni:

1) Utilize the WPIC Alumni Boards
Aside from giving you a certificate, WPIC also gives you a priceless tool to utilize as an alumnus: the boards! This is a forum exclusive to alumni members where you can seek advice, connect with fellow planners, and find volunteer/paid positions. As soon as I became part of the alumni I spent HOURS reading old threads which allowed me to gain tons of insight into the world of wedding planning (stuff you just can’t find in a textbook!).

2) Volunteer with WPIC Alumni
Everyone has to start somewhere…and chances are you may not have a paid opportunity as soon as you obtain your WPIC certification. Before seeking my own clients, I decided to volunteer with two fellow planners. The allowed me to get a first-hand look at what exactly the role of a wedding planner entails (and ease my nerves!). Volunteering was incredible because it allowed me to build a relationship with fellow planners who now hire me for paid positions.

never stop learning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3) Education is Key
As a wedding planner, you wear many hats. You need to constantly educate yourself on things such as wedding trends, what flowers are in season, types of invitation paper, wedding dress designers…the list goes on and on and on! There’s tons of webinars, conferences, networking events, etc. to keep yourself in the loop so be sure to stay educated! (My particular favorite this past year has been The Wedding Professionals Workshop where I was inspired by the incredible Diann Valentine).

4) Stay within Industry Standards
If you’re not already a wedding planner, you’ll soon learn the value of the hours you dedicate to the business and the time you take to grow your skills. Don’t undermine the wedding planning industry by charging less than industry standards. It’s easy to feel the need to make a few quick bucks, but in the long run, you’re doing a disfavor to yourself and the rest of us planners.

5) Know Yourself
As a wedding planner, you have to be able to sell YOURSELF. And in order to do that, you better know what you’re selling! Be aware of your weaknesses, but highlight your strengths. For example, don’t call yourself a wedding stylist if you’re weak in design! It’s a small industry and your reputation counts. You are your own brand after all.

Seriously Helpful Tools for Selecting Your Business Name

 

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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.

Planner of the Month: Jennifer Borgh

 

 

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

Name: Jennifer Borgh

Company: Jennifer Borgh Events

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

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

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

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

Jenn Borgh1

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

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

Jenn Borgh2

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

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

Jenn Borgh3

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

 

 

 

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.

Defining the Role of the Wedding Coordinator

Danielle Deebankby Danielle Deebank, WPICC of Dreamstyle Weddings

I’m often surprised at the reaction I get when I explain what I actually do to couples, vendors and any industry professional for that matter. There are a lot of planners and coordinators around, and although some of the structure is similar throughout our companies, there are varying levels of service provided, and that’s ok. We all have a choice in how we operate. But it’s no wonder clients tend to be a little confused with our role.

As business owners it’s our responsibility to educate our clients and vendors on what roles we play. There are many different price points and many different levels of service. I have had many experiences where there may be some resistance from other vendors that are used to playing a particular role throughout a wedding day; and have heard many stories of coordinators that stand in a corner just watching the timing for the day. Put the clipboard down every once in a while! Our job is being an advocate for our clients, it’s doing the little tasks that they shouldn’t have to do themselves, it’s making the couple and their families feel less overwhelmed because the details are taking care of. Oh the stories I could tell of the unexpected weird things that I have had to do!!

Educating the client:
Every client has a different need and a different expectation of us. It’s our job to manage those expectations. From the beginning your client should have a clear definition of what you do/don’t do. Often times it’s easier to lay out the “don’t do” items, because once their wedding day hits we naturally just do whatever is needed to make their day perfect.

The most laid back couple may think it’s not a big deal if something doesn’t happen quite as planned, but you add up all the little things and that will quickly change. These couples may be the same one thinking they don’t need a coordinator but when situations arise you can guarantee that they are probably re-thinking that. By educating everyone on what we do it allows potential clients to see value in our services.

When we start asking the right questions and filling in the gaps couples quickly see how we can help.

www.wpic.ca

Educating the vendors:
This can be challenging! Some vendors have never worked with a planner/coordination before; others may have had an unpleasant experience. Regardless, we have to remember that our clients chose to have us play this role. We are the voice of our client on wedding day. It’s our job to ensure timing is kept, details are taken care of and vendors are also meeting our client’s expectations. There should never be resistance between your vendors. We need to create a wedding team, we were all hired with the same goal in mind, to make their wedding day unforgettable.

Educating the industry not only clearly defines our roles but working with the right vendors can expand your network and lead to a successful business. Using this team of industry professionals not only makes your job a little smoother on wedding day but also ensure that you have a team that will work well together and create and am amazing unforgettable stress free day for your clients.

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

 

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

 

 

10 Ways to Get More of “Your Type” of Clients

By: Tracey Manailescu

www.wpic.ca

Photo:
www.avenue-photo.com

www.wpic.ca

People tend to look for companies that have similar values, ideas and personalities. It is no different, if not even more important, that you connect with your wedding coordination clients. There is nothing worse (for either of you) then being stuck in a contract for up to a year (or possibly more) with clients that you cannot stand. There is no way that you will have their best interests at heart, and there won’t be a sense of trust between you, either. Respect needs to go both ways. Of course you want to do everything in your power to make this the best wedding ever, but you need to set your boundaries and not be a walking/talking door mat. This means have set working hours, know your limits and be able to express them, you also still be able to live your personal life amidst working with your couples.  This is huge.  Remember to keep some balance in your work and personal life. Your friends and family need you, too. How do you narrow it down, and get your type of client? Everyone has an ideal image of the type of couple that they want to work with, and you also know who you don’t. Everything you do should be geared towards your dream couple.

1. Invest in your Company: Invest in what makes sense to you. Get “weducated”. Most people reading this article are WPIC certified. Bravo!  Within the WPIC Alumni Association and networking events you can pick your alumni’s brains for advice, feedback and ask questions. Ask what they think of your website, logo, ad, etc. Be prepared for honest and blunt responses. Attend conferences & seminars around the globe. Not only will you learn from the speakers, but you will get to network and get out of your comfort zone in hopefully some really great locations (blog, tweet, Instagram and Facebook about your experience while you are there, and when you get back home). Sign up for webinars, attend workshops and courses that have meaning and relevance to what you need to know more about.

2. Believe in Yourself: (Take the Quiz in this section!) Confidence is imperative. No one wants to hire someone who doesn’t have confidence in what they do or can do for their clients. If you are feeling unsure of something, then that is exactly what you need to fine tune, and get cracking in your learning sphere (see topic above). “Get your learning on.” Most of us in the wedding industry are Type A or at least  B+ personalities. That means we like to organize, take on challenges, problem solve and make decisions and we expect it to work out in our favour. See this article to read about 25 Things That People With Type A Personalities Do and then take this quiz to see if you are a Type A or a Type B personality. www.wpic.ca

3. Advertising: Are you doing any? Where?  Are these places that your dream couple would be looking? If not, then why bother?  You should be putting your marketing $ where your dream couple would be looking for you. Example: If you want to be working with more LGBT couples, then get in front of them at the Pride Parade (yes, get on the events committee) . WPIC Alumni get special rates with some amazing companies. Don’t forget to check www.wpicalumni.com before you place an ad somewhere.  Chances are that we might have negotiated a special rate for you 😉 www.wpic.ca

4. Giving Back: Is there an organization that touches your heart, or an industry event that you would like to be a part of? Sign up on the volunteer committee and get some more experience, as well as getting to know some new people who may be in need of your services at a later time, or who can give you a great reference down the road. Not only will you feel good about yourself, but you are gaining experience and showing others what you are capable of. It’s a win/win situation. Assist one of your WPIC Alumni in need of help at a wedding.  Chances are those same people will help you out when you need it.

5. Network online: Join meetup groups, Twitter chats, Facebook  groups, forums, and anywhere else your dream clients are  to get yourself noticed. Something that has been proven over and over, is when WPIC Alumni network and keep active within the WPIC Alumni Association many opportunities are born from connecting and helping each other out.

6. Reach out to Friends and Family: Who knows you best? That would be your friends and family. You should have a business Facebook page, but why not post something wedding related on your personal Facebook page once in a blue moon, just to remind people that you have availability and who you are, and what you do.  It’s smart to do this at peak engagement times such as holidays, and again once or twice during wedding season, as they might know someone who is in need of a “Month Of” wedding coordinator. *1:3 Canadian couples get engaged between December and February according to Weddingbells. *65% of weddings happen between June and September (again from Weddingbells) www.wpic.ca

7. Reviews from Past Clients or Vendors: This is your best word of mouth and free advertising. EVER. After you have worked with a couple, or a vendor ask them for a review of your services. You should be doing this anyway, so that you can improve your customer service. Send a survey or questionnaire to them find out ways to improve your business, ask what they wish you had done, what they liked about working with you, the best part of the wedding day, and if they have a testimonial that you can share on your website, or another place that you advertise online. Try to implement changes in your company based on the feedback. *If it is for your website then try to add a photo taken of you with the couple on their wedding day to add to the legitimacy of it. Share the love from your clients. www.wpic.ca

8. Change Can be Good: If you are running ads in magazines or online ads, are they the same ad from a few years ago?  Maybe it’s time to change it up. Do you need a new logo? Is your “About Me” page the same as it was a few years ago? In need of spicing it up a bit? Read this article I wrote a few weeks ago. What about your personal photo? Do you look the same? Is your website in need of an upgrade? There are so many templates that you can purchase for minimal costs and do it yourself, or hire someone to make it everything you envisioned to welcome potential clients to get a first glimpse of you and your company. Go through your website and ask some of your trusted sidekicks to read it over, too. Can you change some of your wording to reflect your message to be more modern and personal?

9. Blog: Do you blog regularly? 1-2 times a week is best. It’s a great way to get your message out to potential couples as well as improve your websites SEO. You choose the content, style and topic. You can’t get more specific then that to reach your dream couple. Give tips, advice and show your expertise and how you would handle certain and specific situations by speaking directly with them. Showcase your specialties and what you can do for them.  Make them see how you will save them time, money and alleviate stress by hiring you. customer service

10. Customer Service: Are you getting back to potential clients and current clients quickly? This means within 24 hrs. Are you listening to what your clients wants and expectations are? Are you showing your knowledge and love of weddings, when you speak with them, or when they read your blog, or even look at your website? Do your clients feel that you care and have their best interests at heart? Your clients want and need to feel that you will implement their ideas and expectations for their wedding. They also want to feel a connection with you. This means communicating with them and keeping them involved in the process (unless it is a couple that really doesn’t want to be involved with decisions). Staying calm & collected, having a sense of humour, showing confidence and problem solving skills will go along way in difficult situations. Always remember that you are a professional. If you are having trouble thinking of how you can do this better, think about a time you were “wowed” by someone’s customer service skills.  What made them stand out?

Instagram can be Instagood for Your Business

By: Tracey Manailescu

www.wpic.ca

Photo:
www.avenue-photo.com

What is Instagram?

Instagram is an online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, apply digital filters to them, and share them on a variety of social networking services, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr.” Wikipedia

How to create an account: It’s easy. Really. Download the Instagram app on your phone. Enter your email and choose a password.  When you have signed up for your Instagram account, edit your profile and add your company name, a photo of you or your company logo, and your url. You can also add a small blurb about you and your company. Find people to follow and get followers right away by clicking on the button to add your Facebook friends that have Instagram accounts. They should follow you back.

Do you have a personal and a professional Instagram account, or do you lump it into one? I just have one. There are so many debates about this but I try to keep it related to my world which consists of weddings, conferences, travel, eye candy and some random family & pet photos. It sounds a bit eclectic, but that kind of fits my personality.

How often should you be updating your Instagram?  Update it when you have something interesting & wedding/design worthy to share. Over posting is going to turn people off. (Unfortunately, there isn’t an option to hide someone’s posts yet like on Facebook, but you can block someone from seeing your posts. Go to their account, it’ll still show that they are following you, but they won’t be able to see your posts. Go to that person’s page. Click on the button in the top right corner, beside their username.  “Block User” button in RED will come up,  click on it, and they will no longer see your photos or get notifications from you.

What photos should you share on your Instagram? Show your followers work that you have done, shows photos of couples & their weddings that you have worked with/on, shares a glimpse into your wedding company & you (and your team) on site visits, planning meetings with vendors, cake tastings, catering tastings, share what inspires you, what you are capable of, share when you attend conferences and courses, share your magazine ads or wedding show booth, show your office, desk, files, any badges you have received for getting in publications, any products that you offer, etc. Consider this a free way of advertising yourself to potential clients. This being said your followers should be able to see a little bit of you in your posts, too.

Contests can get you get more clients, likes and comments on your Instagram Hold contests for your local followers or potential clients. Who doesn’t like free stuff, right? Some ideas are to add a wedding related photo and have followers guess what the photo is, where it is, have followers provide captions for your post, etc. for a prize. (A prize could be movie passes, a gift card for a date night to a local restaurant, etc.) Have a contest for couples to share their engagement photos with you to win one of your services

Example: #Lovebirds, share your engagement photo with us to win a 2 hour Consultation with ****** Prize valued at $200. Add photo and tag #WPICwearengaged When you like or comment on peoples posts, they are much more likely to reciprocate.

What is the deal with #Hashtags? Hashtags are key words. When you add a hashtag that is relevant to your Instagram post and someone is searching for something specific, your photo and account will “pop up”. This is a chance for those people who checked you out to “follow” you (this translates into  increasing your followers).  Examples: #romance #GTAweddingplanner #WPICcertified #weddingcake etc. Try to not over use the #’s though. It is recommended to use 1-3 #hashtags with each post.

Add video: Share some exiting moments or highlights of a wedding or event, or a “how-to” segment in a short video, so your followers can feel more connected to you. Click here to see Instagram’s tips about adding videos.   www.wpic.ca

 

Some Instagram Statistics:

Instagram launched in 2010 and currently has  7.3 million daily users worldwide

Most posts happen on a Thursday, but Sunday is the most effective

Instagram is available in 10 languages

55% of users are women, 45% are men according to Social Times

34% of users are aged 25-44 according to Social Times

www.wpic.ca

Some Groovy Apps for iphone and Androids:

If you want to add some “awesome-sauce” to your photos, why not try some of these apps to increase the look and feel of your photos? (Some are free and some are a small fee.)

Aviary for touch ups, frames, stickers, etc. (Free)

PhotoWonder lets you edit, makes you skinnier, removes acne, add makeup, add cool effects, make collages, and change colour saturation. (Free)

A Beautiful Mess has some filters to change your photos up, but the best part are the fun borders,  text options and hand-drawn doodle overlays. (Cost is .99 cents)

Snapseed red eye filters, saturation, cropping, and anytime you want photos to pop. (Free)

Overgram So many great fonts to add text to your photos (Free)

Facetune corrects small facial imperfections like wrinkles, whitening your teeth, get rid of blemishes, enhance your eyes and lips. (Cost $2.99)

Bubbleframe  Create photo bubbles with your photos (Cost $1.99)

FuzelPro lets you create animated collages.  What?  Yup. Click on the examples from their site to be amazed! (Cost $1.99)

8mm A whole bunch of cool effects for shooting vintage videos, and lets you add dust, scratches, flickering frames, light leaks and more vintage effects to your films(Cost $1.99)   Share some of your favourite apps in the comments section with us!