The most challenging aspect I had to overcome in starting up my business was the fact that I had been suffering from fibromyalgia for quite some time and was unsure on the toll this business would take on me. I had been a stay at home mom for about 18 years and starting this hobby business, balancing out family and clients was definitely going to be a new challenge for me. Thankfully with the help of my awesome assistants and having the flexibility with the hours and days that I work, I have found the way to balance it all.
By: Tracey Manailescu
“Fearless in 2014″ was the theme!
Our WPIC Representatives really out did themselves with this event. Kudos and a HUGE thank you to Meagan Eagles, Dawn Fillion and Amy Stevenson. These ladies worked their butts off to make this even a memorable night for all of us. We truly appreciate all of the details, relaxed atmosphere and the thoughtfulness that went into it all.
*The Eaton Chelsea pulled it off without a glitch. Great staff and a great location.
We had a gigantic list of sponsors that helped make this night so wonderful. Whether it was the entertainment, venue, sweets, decor, florals, games, slo-mo photo booth, snow cones, chip station, fortune teller, fascinators, swag bag items, prizes or speakers, we appreciate it all, and thank you!
Carnival games? You betcha
Here are some photos of our amazing WPIC alumni. We were so happy to see everyone who came out to network, learn and just unwind.
The Eaton Chelsea did an amazing job of keeping us fed with vintage circus themed food such as a pretzel station, pulled pork station, mini corn dogs, hot dogs, vegetarian chile, reuben sandwiches, chick pea curry, mushroom ragout, bacon ragout, freshly made hot yukon gold potato roasti and a dessert station.
Mike spoke on the subject, “Pride. Perseverance and Fear.” He gave some insight into where he came from , how he turned around negatives and how it all helped him be who is is now. Support from family and believing in yourself will get you, and keep you on track. Personal anecdotes always endear the audience, and Mike’s speech was just that.
Jennifer spoke about, “Standing in the Face of Fear”. A funny & warm hearted discussion about not being afraid to change things up in your career to get you on the path you are supposed to be on. Lists, lists and more lists will keep you organized and on the straight and narrow. Never be afriad to amke mistakes as that is how we learn. Never give up!
Oh yes, we had entertainment. The incrdibly talented team from A2D2 gave two performances, a strolling cupcake station,and a clown that stole my popcorn and brought back even more then I had lost, got to love that;)
Below are photos of some wild, whacky and gorgeous fascinatiors created by WPIC Alumni, Aimee Alabaster of With Abandon. I loved that we were able to pre select the fascinators that we wanted to wear for the evening. Danielle bought hers right after the night ended, and I have 2 orders on the go right now!
Photos are all courtesy of the dynamic duo: Jono & Laynie. You both were so easy to work with and we happily recommend you to all of our Alumni and their couples!
By: Tracey Manailescu
The good, the bad, and the just plain ol’ ugly. (Yes, I will share some of mine…) Since I am sharing mine, I might as well drag Danielle into this, too
You all know what I am talking about…Don’t be embarrassed. I have some REAL doozies from the not so distant past. One thing I am famous for, is wearing an elastic on my wrist. Somehow, I always forget to take the darned things off before I am photographed at events, and for impromptu head shots (See a few of Danielle’s and mine below.) The really bad ones won’t make it here, I am afraid…LOL!
Professional business head shots are important for many reasons:
- Shows potential clients that you take your wedding planning business seriously, and have invested in your marketing as well as your brand. You ARE your brand!
- Shows potential clients a little bit about you, and your personality, by the way you choose to present yourself. Don’t be afraid to show your true self in your head shots. If you are going to wear jeans and a blazer, with an amazing pair of shoes in your client meetings, then wear THAT for your photo. If you can rock a business suit, and still show your amazing sense of style, then do it!
- Shows how you will probably represent yourself at their wedding. Makeup done, hair under control (speaking for myself, here) and an outfit you feel confident in.
- Shows potential clients if your style matches their expectations of a wedding planner. if not, they will move on.
Where can you get professional head shots taken?
- Book a head shot session with your favourite wedding photographer.
- Scope out, and contact a photography company that you admire, and are hoping to work with in the future. Hire them!
- Ask other wedding professionals where they had theirs done (WPIC Alumni Association would be a great place to ask). If someone is happy with their head shot, then they will most likely happily refer you to the photographer that made it happen for them.
- WPIC has held 2 professional working head shot events for WPIC Alumni with some of Toronto’s most talented photographers. (My photo in the top left hand corner, is from the last event in September at Paletta Mansion.)
- Networking events
- FAM trips
- Conferences and Trade Shows
Tips to get good head shots:
- Bring a change of clothing for two different looks. Be comfortable in what you will be wearing. Yes, go out and buy yourself a new outfit for it if you can!
- Make sure that you are comfortable with the photographer to ensure real smiles and photogenic poses.
- Tell the photographer if you are uncomfortable with anything about yourself that may interfere with the photos and your comfort level. ie. You look way better photographed from your left side, you hate your mole, double chin, etc.
- Make your eyes smile. Think happy thoughts and even giggle if you want in the photos.
- Avoid clothing that wrinkles easily. It will look messy in the photos.
- Avoid skin coloured clothing (it’ll look like your naked and/or washed out). This means if you have light skin then avoid tans, pale yellow, pale peach, etc. If you have dark skin then avoid dark or muted colours. Do the opposite of your skin colour.
- ***TIP***Apparently, jeweled tones look good on every shade of skin.
- If you wear glasses 99% of the time, then wear glasses in your head shot. Your photographer can work around the glare.
- Avoid wearing shiny or sparkly makeup. It will stress out the photographer with the lighting on your face.
- Avoid large or chunky jewelry. (It will be distracting, and take the viewer away from your face.)
- Drink lots of water the week before.
- Get a good sleep the night before.
- Avoid red wine and heavy foods the night before.
- Invest in a teeth whitening product.
- Have enough time scheduled for your session. Typically an hour works well.
How much will it cost?
- Anywhere from $150-$400+ with a professional photographer.
- If that stresses you out at the moment, then department stores like Sears and Walmart are also there for you, if you are in a pinch, and can provide a much cheaper alternative to get you going.
Working shots are a great way to show what you will look like on their wedding day. It shows clients what they can expect from you appearance wise when you are working at their wedding. (FYI- Flip flops, tank tops, cut-off jean shorts, gym outfits, micro mini-skirts, etc. should not be an option).
***TIP***Ask the couple and the photographer to take a photo of you, with the couple. This is a great for future blogs, your portfolio, and memories!
So really, there are just no excuses for selfies, passport photos, and night out with the friends photos as your professional head shot. Invest in yourself (this is just one of the ways to do so) and clients will appreciate it, and invest in you!
Here are some tools that every wedding planner should have in their arsenal:
1. Pantone Color Guide
Get the exact shade your couple is looking for. Where to buy
2.Miss A Kit
This multi-tool has everything: screwdriver, knife, scissors, bottle opener, nail file, corkscrew, needle and thread, safety pin, perfume vial, etc. Where to buy
3. Mini e-kit
When your regular Emergency Kit is too big or inappropriate, place it nearby and grab this little In a Pikle kit to have all the essentials at hand.
4. Spray Paint
I did a blog just on the many uses of spray paint for wedding planners. Every paintable item in our office has been at least three different colors. Never pass up the perfect item because it is the wrong color, just change the color!
5. Evian Spray
The item in my emergency kit that I use at every single wedding! Buy the 3-packs, they are the perfect size, then mist away. Spray the couple and their attendants during the photoshoot, before the reception, after they have been dancing. It revives their makeup, cools them down and refreshes them.
by Karen Sagle, WPICC, GWC of When Sparks Fly Wedding & Events
Recently I’ve been contacted by a number of different brides who have planned their weddings and then considered getting into wedding planning themselves. While it may be a great idea for some, it’s not the right fit for everyone. Here are some things I tell them:
Planning someone else’s wedding isn’t the same as planning yours. You don’t always get a say in the style or the design of the wedding, and it isn’t always the same taste as yours. You have to be able to work just as hard on a wedding that you love as you would on a wedding that isn’t styled in a way that you like.
It’s not an easy business to get into. I had one bride tell me that she was planning to quit her job and become a wedding planner full time, right off the bat! There are a TON of small wedding planning businesses, and it takes time to build a client base. In most businesses, your goal is to find clients and retain them, but in the wedding business you’re constantly looking for new clients as (you hope!) you’ll probably never have the same clients twice. It takes time to build a portfolio and gain the contacts you need, and this is usually done on the side of another job, at least for a while. That often means you’re working full time during the day and then on this business in the evenings and weekends. Even then, there are very few wedding planners who do this full time. On average, for a day-of coordination (which are typically the bulk of your business) most planners charge somewhere between $900 and 1200. Once your business is established, you’ll be more likely to get bigger contracts and the luxury market, while small, can be more lucrative. But in the beginning at least, even if you work on a wedding every single Saturday of the year (which is unlikely), you would still only make about $50,000 and this isn’t even taking into account all the expenses you will have, like marketing, supplies, etc.
It’s not all glamorous, (read real wedding planner tales here) and it’s not the same as the Jennifer Lopez movie! (Hahaha – an actual common misconception!) Weddings are intense business. When it’s your wedding, it can be a lot of fun and you get to do with it whatever you want! When it’s someone else’s, you hold the responsibility for one of the most important days in someone else’s life and it’s your job to make sure it’s perfect. Wedding days are long (usually 10-14 hours) and hectic and often involve getting your hands dirty. You frequently deal with people who are very stressed and anxious and you often have to play the mediator between multiple people who don’t see eye to eye.
You need credentials! Just deciding to become a wedding planner isn’t enough. I have a graduate certificate in Event Management, and I’m certified by the Wedding Planners Institute of Canada, as well as by the 14 Stories Gay Weddings Institute, and I’m planning on taking others as well! There are lots of certifications and conferences out there that will really further your knowledge and your credibility, but they’re not cheap – they are in investment! Make sure it’s something you really want to do before you jump in and spend lots of money.
These warnings aren’t meant to scare my brides away from wedding planning, but more so to give a reality check to some who think it’s all luxurious and easy. Ask any Wedding Planner out there – ITS NOT! Having said all that…. I LOVE being a wedding planner. I love working with people on the happiest days of their lives, and I thrive under the stress and the pressure. No 2 weddings are ever the same, and I love that. I love pulling together someone’s vision and seeing how excited they get when they walk in and see it. I love the craziness of running around to make sure everything gets done properly and I’m the type of person who works well with deadlines and pressure. I’m good with logistics and budgets, and I can think on my feet and come up with quick solutions.
If you’re willing to put in the work, wedding planning can be an awesome career path! Just make sure you know what you’re getting into so that if you do decide to go ahead, you’ll be well informed and ready to rock it!
Karen Sagle is the owner of When Sparks Fly Weddings & Events, a wedding and event planning company based in Ottawa, Canada. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Carleton University, an Event Management graduate certificate from Algonquin College and is certified by the Wedding Planners Institute of Canada and the 14 Stories Gay Wedding Institute. Karen is also a competitive curler and loves playing sports, travelling and spending time with family and friends.
Written by Jaxx Swadi, WPICC, GWIC – Creative Director of One Sweet Day Wedding & Event Coordination
See what I did there? No, it isn’t a spelling error. The word is intentionally incorrect. The topic of discussion for today – How to be an Assistant, and more importantly how to TREAT your assistants.
With 2013 winding down to an abrupt close (I am really not sure where the year went!), I wanted to touch on some things I have learned over the four years I have been doing weddings. Both from personal experience, observation and information that has been shared with me along the way.
Now, let’s be clear. This is whether you are a paid assistant OR a volunteer. The information isn’t applicable to one over the other.
I have had the opportunity to be both a volunteer and a paid assistant in the time I have been doing weddings. I have also had many assistants over the years, and was lucky enough to have the chance to mentor some of them. An honour I take VERY seriously.
Here’s what I have learned:
As an assistant, you should (again, paid or volunteer):
- Always, always, always….sign a contract. This protects both you and the planner hiring you. You have all of the expectations out on the table in black and white. The where, what, why, how’s and who’s. Where is the wedding taking place? What is the compensation? How should I dress? Who are the couple?
- You should always have a copy of the itinerary. It not only gives you the play by play of what you can expect on the day, but it should also outline what duties are expected of you as an assistant. If it doesn’t…it SHOULD! Don’t hesitate to ask your lead planner what is expected of you. Honestly? Every wedding is different, every couple has different expectations of how they want things done. You should never be expected to assume what your duties should be. Nor do you want to be repeating tasks that have already been completed.
- You should always be fed if you are staying during the mealtime. Now, I have personally done weddings where I can’t eat the food they have. Most of the time, you will find that venues are quite accommodating if they know in advance. However, when there are times that you are not offered a meal as a team (and believe me, this has happened as well) – it is the responsibility of the planner who hired you to ensure you are fed, so you can better complete the duties in store for you.
- Take initiative. Look around, see what needs to get done. If you have something you aren’t sure of, your lead planner should always make themselves approachable so you can ask if A, B & C can be done in such and such a way. I know I personally appreciate an extra pair of eyes looking around at the finer details – because I’m busy too!
- Dress professionally. You would think this is a given, but I have had assistants show up in less than appropriate attire. Put your stiletto heels, leopard print pants and heavy makeup away. They have no place in a place of worship or a wedding reception. For the most part, it is safe to assume a pant suit with a professional blouse is best. If you are unsure, ask your lead planner for guidance. One thing is for sure, if you don’t have one – invest in a black blazer. It’s definitely a constant go to item.
- Keep the personal talk to a minimum, when there are things that need to get done. There is a time and a place to talk about your sick cat, boyfriend troubles, BFF, etc. When you are swept off of your feet busy preparing for a ceremony or reception – it is clearly not the forum for it. During downtime is best.
Leads! How to TREAT your assistants:
- Again, I reiterate the above. Provide a contract for your assistants. It’s to protect you both so there are no uncertainties after the fact. Friendship and business are separate. You don’t want a strained relationship afterwards if there is any confusion about the finer details. Trust me!
- Provide your assistant with their duties. Whether it’s in your itinerary, in the contract, or on a separate sheet, it doesn’t matter! You can’t expect your assistant/s to play guessing games with YOUR clients wedding. It isn’t fair to you, your assistant/s, and most importantly – your client. Put everything out on the table so there are no misunderstandings.
- FEED THEM!!! Make sure they are able to eat the meal being provided. For whatever reason, allergies, illness, whatever – they may not be able to. But you are still obligated to make sure they eat so they can function well! I don’t care if you send them out for McDonalds or Subway, it doesn’t have to be fine dining. But they must have something to eat, and a place to eat it.
- Be a mentor. You are the lead! In many cases, the assistants working with you are new to the industry. They are looking to you for guidance and support. Don’t go on a power trip because you ‘re in charge. Assistants have taken time away from their usual lives, to help you, and learn from you. They left their families and/or responsibilities at home to spend 10 hours with you. So don’t make them regret it, or resent the industry or the people in it. There’s nothing worse than when I have been an assistant at a wedding, and someone newer to the industry comes to ME for advice and support because the lead has made themselves unapproachable. NOT COOL! You aren’t invincible, trust me…and for God’s sake, don’t gossip about them. I’ve seen it happen, and it’s happened to me. Word travels fast, and not in a good way.
- Respect your assistants! They are your team. They are the reason that things will go smoothly or terribly at your event. Introduce them to your vendors – in your itinerary email, and in person on the day. It isn’t a very nice feeling to be treated as though you are ”just the help”, and have random strangers that you have to approach and introduce yourself to because you as the lead didn’t have the courtesy to do it.
- Show them appreciation! Thank you goes a LONG way. After a rehearsal dinner, or the night before a wedding, I always take my team out for dinner. It’s an opportunity for everyone to meet and get comfortable with each other, and a way to discuss any items the assistants need to be aware of that could come up on the day of. It’s also a chance to get to know each other, unwind and create new friendships and relationships. At the very least, give them a thank you card, a small gift or token of appreciation. This is something I always make a point of doing, because it is ME that can make or break their impression of this industry and the people in it.
- Stand by your word. If you are paying them, make sure you stand by your agreement. I always have an EMT sent out the day after the wedding. If you promised recommendation letters or photos, stay on top of making that happen. We all know that some photos take longer than others to get back to us, but it’s up to us to stay on top of it AND let our assistants know that we haven’t forgotten about them, and are still waiting on things.
- If you have had a great volunteer assistant, give them a paid job in the future. Nothing says thank you and great job, like asking them to return to work for you in a paid capacity.
I hope planners new and veteran, found this blog informative and helpful. I think given what we’ve all experienced, it felt like it was about time that someone spelled it all out.
Wishing you all much success and a very prosperous 2014!
by Danielle Andrews Sunkel
Lately, I have heard a lot of people give the advice, ”Fake it till you make it.”
I’m all for “dressing for the job you want, not the job you have,” but I just can’t get on board with pretending to be successful and experienced, when you are not. It is not fair to potential clients, they think they are hiring a wedding guru, when in fact you are flubbing every step of the way. It’s not fair to colleagues, you are putting undue stress on them, either trying to figure out why they aren’t achieving your level of success or by duping their potential clients. It’s not fair to yourself, if you create an image that you must try to live up to everyday, there is no way to go back gracefully, it would be exhausting and terrifying to live a lie day in and day out.
Instead, I offer this advice: Be the best you, you can be. A true professional has substance, expertise, training, education and experience.
Here are some keys to being successful in the Wedding Industry:
- Work Hard
- Be Authentic
- Get Educated (and keep getting educated)
- Seek Experience
- Be Unique
- Play Nicely
- Market Yourself, Truthfully
by Danielle Andrews Sunkel
As most wedding business owners wind down after the 2013 wedding season, the smart ones are starting to plan their 2014 season. The break between wedding seasons is a time to assess this year and set goals for yourself and your business for next.
Everyone has a dream of what they want their wedding business to be, goals are just dreams with deadlines. Setting and achieving your goals is a wonderful exercise that’s builds your confidence and helps you appreciate yourself and your efforts. It is a very empowering task.
In order to set goals, you need to assess your needs and skill set:
- What worked for you this year, what did not?
- Did you enjoy working with all of your clients? If not, why not?
- Did you have time for loved ones?
- Did your systems and policies work for you, or do you need to tweak them?
- Did you feel you were paid appropriately for the services you provided?
- Is there a skill you feel you are lacking?
- Do you feel you have all the business tools you need to be truly successful?
- What marketing avenues were most successful for you?
- Did you network and meet other vendors that will improve your business?
- Are you surrounding yourself with the right people?
Put your goals down on paper and make sure the goals you set are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely.
Saying, “I want to grow my business” is way too vague. You need to narrow your goal and make it specific. How do you want to grow your business; Do you want to work with more couples? Larger budgets? Make more of a name for yourself? Add personnel? Move into a commercial office?
Great satisfaction comes from achieving one’s goals. Your goals need to be concrete and measurable so you know if you have achieved it, whether or not it is achievable or if you need to do more work in order to achieve said goal.
Establish at the outset whether or not your goal is even attainable or just a pipe dream. Is it reasonable that you can attain this goal with determination and hard work, or would this goal only be attainable with luck or a miracle? If your goal is not something you could ever reasonably attain, it is going to hurt you and zap your momentum and confidence rather than bolster you.
Why did you set this goal? Is it going to help you or your company in the grand scheme of things, or is it just something that would be fun?
How are you going to be accountable for this goal? How long are you going to give yourself to achieve it? Will it take many steps, should it be broken down into smaller goals? How will you know that you have achieved said goal?
In order to truly work at your goals you need to be accountable. Make sure you write your goals down on paper (or print it off), don’t just save it in a file on your computer or Smartphone. Give yourself milestones and deadlines and reward yourself when you have achieved your goals.
At the end of the year, look at your goals and reassess them, are they still relevant, how did achieving those goals make your business better. And then start all over again.
By Denise Georgiou, WPICC of Weddings Jubilee
One of the first things I do when an engaged couple contacts me is ask them some screening questions. Questions like: What date are they hoping for? how many guests they are hoping to invite? what city they want to have their wedding in? and; what is their budget? Contrary to some beliefs, I don’t ask these questions because I want to know how much to charge them, I ask because it let’s me gage how realistic they are about their budget. In other words, if my couple wants a Saturday July Wedding for 150 guests in downtown Toronto for a budget of $15,000.00, I know that I need to put on my ‘reality check’ hat to educate them of some real costs.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that a lower budget wedding in downtown Toronto is impossible, I’m saying that they first need to understand how much things cost. They need to know the compromises & cuts that must be made in order to make that happen. Compromises like: a smaller guest list, different reception time and type, choosing a less popular day of the week etc.
Many couples tend to wrongly think that hiring a Wedding Planner will automatically mean negotiations with vendors to get them better deals. Sometimes we can get some added value with vendors and on occasion a discount or two, but nobody works for free. Think of it this way, if your boss came to you and said “I’m on a tight budget and can only pay you 1/2 of your pay for the same amount of work”, how would you feel? I bet that it would not bode well and you’d think your boss didn’t appreciate you; it would be unacceptable. You, rightfully, want to get paid for your hard work. Same goes with your Toronto Wedding vendors including your wedding planner.
Remember that your wedding planner will spend countless of hours researching all your needs, emailing, calling and visiting venues and vendor’s to find ones that are perfect for your wedding; create and manage your budget, produce your timeline, fully develop the wedding theme or vision you have, handle confirmations, follow-up calls and visits with your vendors, create your itinerary for you and your vendors, attend, manage and even direct your rehearsal and wedding ceremony, if you need it and coordinate and manage your wedding day. By the way, that’s just the condensed list.
A common misconception that couples (and sometimes their wedding party and family has) is that we wedding planners will pick up ALL the slack that you either didn’t have time to do or forgot to do all free of charge because we want to make you happy and give you a stress-free day. Although it’s true that we are there to make your day exceptional and as low-maintenance as can be, and it’s also true we do whatever is in our power to solve and divert any last minute issues, we are not miracle workers. We cannot make your delivered $50 centrepieces look identical to the photo you printed off Pinterest of the $300.00 one you asked your florist to scale down to save costs. We cannot simply add in unordered champagne for your guests on the day-of because your ‘fave uncle’ decided he wants to make a toast. If you didn’t purchase the champagne, the venue likely would not have it kicking around. We cannot challenge signed contractual agreements or coerce your wedding vendors to do things you did not agree to prior to your wedding day. For example: I can’t guarantee that your photographer will be convinced to stay later at no cost because you were late to your ceremony and everything is running late. Likewise, I can’t convince your venue to keep the bar open later just because your guests are having a great time. As a planner it is my job to help plan your wedding based on your budget and try to make it work with your vision in some way. My job is to help on the day to manage your event to have it all run smoothy and hopefully without incident. It’s my job to direct the wedding and troubleshoot any situations or problems that may arise. So, if your ‘fave uncle’ did want to make a toast, I could instead ask that a wine or sparkling cider be provided for your guests for an extra fee by your venue; although there are never guarantees, it would be a more likely scenario to expedite.
Although I can’t guarantee or promise perfection, I can promise that my team and I will do a perfect job in putting our best foot forward every step of the way and providing prompt, quality service during your planning and wedding day; I can promise that I will always advise you of all your options; the upsides and downsides to all your wedding ideas; I can also promise that I will be your eyes and ears on your wedding day to make it a beautiful experience for you and your loved ones.
Keep in mind that hiring a planner, even for just a series of consults will help. Regardless of your budget, it is important to meet with a professional coordinator to, at the very least, help get you organized and on the right track.
By Jacqueline Swadi, WPICC of One Sweet Day (Halton Region WPIC representative)
On the Canada Day long weekend, I had the thrill of welcoming my dear friends Peter Merry and his better half Audrae to our side of the pond. We spent Saturday afternoon together, just catching up over a late lunch and enjoying the amazing weather. I was thrilled that my husband was able to join us for the fun, as we’ve all waited years for him and Peter to finally meet. After filling our bellies with some good ol’ Firkin pub grub, we walked it off until we met up with our good friend, Mr. Bill McElree, WPICC – DJ, planner, and officiant extraordinaire ofAbsolute Weddings based in Sudbury, Ontario.
The five of us had the pleasure of enjoying an incredible meal in the revolving restaurant overlooking the Falls on a gorgeous evening. It all seemed to happen so fast, but our day had come to an end, and I was about to do it all over again on Sunday!
On Sunday, I left bright and early with my friend and colleague Tanya (7a.m. Eek!) and we met up with Peter, Audrae & Bill for breakfast before we headed out on our day long tour with Niagara Parks with WPIC Alumni.
We had an incredible day of seeing the amazing venues and best kept secrets that Niagara has to offer our clients. We started our day by being treated to coffee, tea, scones & danishes at the gorgeous
Legends on the Niagara property. What stunning views this gem has to offer, and the staff are incredible!
Elements on the Falls has such an incredible view for weddings, and is such a reasonable space for the value it offers. Pop & Lolly’s is just across the way, and the sweets they have to offer should be more than enough to entice you. It’s like being a kid all over again, living right inside your very own Charlie & the Chocolate Factory experience! The amazing Niagara Parks staff sent us all away with incredible goodie bags, however I will state for the record right now, that I was very well behaved!
At Queenston Heights, we were treated to a lovely brunch along with a Musket Demonstration and reenactment skit.
I had set up the book signing table, and Peter gave one of his most well received presentations on Showcasing Your V.A.L.U.E. – which is all about exceeding your clients expectations by verifying, affirming, listing, underscoring and exhibiting – all in the name of providing the WOW factor for your couples.
Peter’s presentation exceeded everyone’s expectations, and everyone walked away with some serious food for thought. But, to be honest – this really doesn’t surprise me. On a professional level, I have seen Peter present many topics, and never has he disappointed. Not once. When Peter speaks, people listen. He has a way of offering education and knowledge, that keeps you entertained and interested. He is extremely passionate about what he does, and gets his point across in a unique way that has you wanting more. He is actually like this in friendship as well. Many heated discussions later, Peter finds passion in every topic he discusses. Go big or go home, right?
I don’t know about all of you, but when I hear a speaker presenting, it has to be fun, motivating, educational, inspiring. If it feels like paint drying, you have lost my interest no matter how hot the topic is.
Peter then took pictures with our WPIC gang, and signed copies of his amazing book ‘’The Best Wedding Reception…Ever!”. I highly recommend that everyone runs out and grabs a copy of the book. If not for yourself, then for your clients. It’s an extremely valuable tool.
As if all of this was not enough, we still had a full afternoon ahead! We went to the Butterfly Conservatory, the Floral Showhouse, we took horse and carriage rides to Wedding Arbour and Willow Pond, we went on the Whirlpool Aerocar above the Niagara whirlpool…250 metres above the water! We also visited the Whirlpool Restaurant where we took a break with some fruit and punch snacks before continuing on our way to Edgewater.
I have really only touched on some of the amazing things that we got to see and do while visiting Niagara Parks. Peter & Audrae were just along for the ride, and we were so honoured and thrilled to have them.
Our day ended around 5:15, and everyone headed home. Peter, Audrae, Bill & myself stuck around Niagara for the Canada Day festivities. We had dinner, walked around, saw the fireworks, did the Journey behind the Falls,
and they even got to light up the Falls and received official certificates from Niagara Parks stating they were now official Niagara illuminators. How amazing is that?
Although I’m positive both Peter & Audrae can attest to this visit being way too short, we sure did have a jam packed weekend. There was no time or room for boredom!
Obviously for me, the saddest part was saying goodbye. This is the challenge of being a part of such a diverse industry. You meet people, make really good friends all over the world and you have no control over the people you build relationships with and care about, no matter how far away they are or how often you see them.
A huge thank you to Sue Zareski,WPICC, with Niagara Parks Commission for turning a wish into a reality yet again. You’re amazing!
And to my amazing friends, Peter & Audrae: Hope you had the best time….ever
Until we meet again!