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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 to Create Great Content for Instagram

by Meagan Eagles, of Weddings Tied With Lace

  1. Post Interesting Photos.

If you want people to follow you, you have to create a page worth following.  Instagram is a great platform to show the person behind the business. Post photos that showcase your personality, show the behind the scenes of your business and occasional product or service shots.

  1. Use Natural Light

Always use natural light when possible. If you can’t be outside, take your photo near a window. This makes a huge difference.

  1. Use the Rule of Thirds

Instagram is a visual platform, which means eye-catching images are important. Whatever style you choose for your brand, your images should reflect that. The frame and positioning of an image can really change the emotion it relates. When you have your photo in Instagram, play around with the grid to find the right balance.

Photos for Meagans blog

In this photo you can see how  using the rule of thirds can change things. The first image is how it automatically showed up in Instagram.  It was slightly off centered, which for this image doesn’t look right. In the middle photo I zoomed in just slightly and brought the computer in the middle of the grid.  The third photo shows me not using the rule of thirds at all. It’s not as appealing overall.

  1. Straighten

Use the straighten feature in Instagram to add the finishing touches to your image.

In the photos below, the first image is slightly crooked. We straightened it in Instagram and it now aligns with the straightness of the floor.

flowers2

flowers

  1. Edit Your Photos

Use a photo editing app to brighten, sharpen, add contrast, etc to make your photos stand out. No one likes to look at dark depressing photos.

  1. Be Consistent

No matter what style you choose to edit your photos in, make sure you keep it consistent to your brand, and to your other photos posted. When someone scrolls through your page it should be a sea of similar styled photos, different yet somewhat the same.

weddingtedwithlace

Meagan is the lead planner and designer of Weddings Tied with Lace, based in the Niagara Region. She is WPIC certified and was the recent representative for the Niagara Region. Meagan is also the creator of the BOSS retreat, an intimate workshop for creative women entrepreneurs. You can follow her on Instagram here: www.instagram.com/weddingstiedwithlace & here: www.instagram.com/thebossretreat

If you’d like to know more about how to improve your business by using Instagram as well as additional topics, we’d love to see you at the BOSS retreat! www.thebossretreat.com

Avoiding Industry Burn-out

www.wpic.ca

By: Tracey Manailescu

www.wpic.ca

Photo:
www.avenue-photo.com

“People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.” Dale Carnegie

Avoiding Industry Burn-out: When do you feel most inspired and passionate about the weding industry and your business? Is it after you work with a great couple?  When you meet a FAB new wedding vendor? When you attend a Conference? Don’t you wish that you could bottle that feeling and drink from it whenever you got the ho-hums? I think everyone feels the blahs once in a while.  Competition is strong, and it’s difficult, if not down-right impossible, to feel confident and creative ALL of the time.

Being in the wedding industry comes with a ton of pros and cons. A wedding is an emotional event. There is excitement, disappointment, battles of will, family interferance, money woes, power struggles and it can be exhausting to be in the middle of it all. There are trends, venues and vendors that would have made your couples wedding so much better, but maybe they’ve already signed a contract with someone else before hiring you, or maybe they’ve decided to save money on something you know will make a ton of difference in the end and have decided to not listen to your advice (like a great professional DJ, photographer or decorator.) Sometimes you have to just suck it up against your better judgement and roll with it. It can be really frustrating!

Here are some tips to help keep your head in the game: wedding planner having coffee with couple

1. Relive Happy Client Memories. Go through photos and thank you cards from past clients whom you adored. There is just something about happy memories that make you feel all warm and happy inside. You had a part in making that wedding wonderful.

sweeping leaves and flowers

2. De-Clutter. You will be amazed at things you have tucked away for future use, things you felt bad about getting rid of from events, magazines that are out-dated, and event packages where you know you will never work at. Get a new filing system, binders, folders and storage boxes that match, are modern and make your office look good. Get rid of things you do not use and will never use. Your office is a representation of you and your company. Make it work for you.  Know where things are, and have them serve a purpose, or get rid of them. De-cluttering actually creates positive energy, calm and clarity.

3. Brand Make-Over. Have your style, clients, services offered and budgets changed since you started in the wedding industry?

*Hire a professional web designer to make your site more modern, SEO compatible and user friendly. It doesn’t have to be expensive. You can even make one yourself if you know what you are doing. If you don’t, then there are tutorials to help you do it.

*Hire a photographer to get some new head shots done for your “About Me” page.

*Hire a graphic designer to create a new logo for your company. Check out Elance and 99designs

www.wpic.ca

4. Update your contracts and policies. Create templates and standard information emails about your services. Create feedback forms to send out to each set of clients after the wedding. This will save you time and make way for other things that you never had time for. *Remember to have a lawyer go over any changes that you have made to your contract.

5. Change your pricing. Maybe it is time to increase your pricing, or lower it. You should know by now who you attract to your business. Do you enjoy working with couples for “Full Planning” or are you happiest with “Partial Planning” or even “Month Of” coordination? Does your pricing turn them off? Or you getting very demanding clients who expect the world from you, but it is taking too much of your energy and patience? Maybe you need to decrease your amount of clients, and increase your pricing, which would allow you to put more effort and time into your couples. Do what feels and works best for you and your company.

never stop learning

6. Learn a New Skill. Maybe you are not so great at book-keeping. Hire one or take some courses to learn how to do it better. Take a small business course, learn from the amazing people in your own community. I am humbled by all of the talent and brilliant people within WPIC who are constantly learning, growing and offering their time and energy to help us all be better. Sign up for one of their workshops, seminars or conferences. Buy one of their books or write your own!

7. Take Care of You. Join a gym, go out for weekly coffees or drinks with your friends, go on weekly/monthly date nights with your better half, get a haircut, have a kit-kat break, buy some new clothes to suit your brand, go on a vacation. Only you know what work best of you.  Go and do that.

5 Things You can Do Right Now to Improve Your Wedding Planning Business

By: Tracey Manailescu

meeting new peeps

1. Surround yourself with like minded individuals:
Do you have nay-sayers in your life? Maybe it’s time to step away and move over to the other side, you know the side where people are lifting you up instead of tearing you down? People who encourage you to dream bigger, invest wiser and offer tips and guidance as to help you grow personally and professionally. Get active in professional groups (WPIC Alumni Association, MPI, ISES to name a few) to learn and communicate with people who have been there, and can offer sound advice and encouragement. Have a coffee night with some wedding pros who are interested in growing their businesses, or a veteran who is willing to listen and critique your marketing strategies, attend networking events, and open houses to see what is out there. Be open to possibilities and watch YOU grow!

As Seen on WPIC button

2. Celebrate your successes:
Share your accomplishments with people who will be happy for you.  It is so exciting to be mentioned in an article, featured in a magazine, get a glowing review from your couples, get an award, get your website, logo and business cards professionally done, register your business, selecting a company name, etc.  Whatever it is, you need to share this with people who will be happy for you. Share it on social media, on the WPIC Alumni baords, invite someone out for a drink, go out to dinner with your better half and just relish in the feeling for a little bit. You worked hard for this moment, so enjoy it!

www.wpic.ca

3. Believe in yourself: 
Everyone, yes everyone, is good at something. What is it that makes you a great wedding planner?  Are you fantastic at keeping couples within their budget?  Are you amazing at design and execution? Can you create timelines and logistics like nobody’s business? Do you have mad customer service skills? Do you problem solve and put everyone at ease? Do you take charge and keep things moving when family influences are threatening to ruin the harmony? Whatever it is that makes you stand out from the crowd, be that. Own it and build your business with it.

SMART formula written on a chalkboard

4. Know your weaknesses: 
It is impossible to be good at everything. There is always going to be someone who knows more, makes more, has more influence, and who you look up to and admire. Thank goodness for that.  Life would be pretty boring if you thought you were the be all, end all of weddings (and if you think you are, then ummm…Houston, we have a problem!). Once you know who you are and what you need to work on, go and do it! Study, watch and grow yourself. Always try to be a better version of you.

quote

5. Write it out:
All of the above mentioned points seems pretty much like common sense, right? So what are you waiting for? Go make a list of things you are good at, things you need to improve, and things you want to accomplish. Break these down into things to work on this week, this month and then this year. Thing always become much more real, and you will feel much more accountable when these are laid out in front of you. Give yourself deadlines and challenges for success. Go on, get growing!

www.wpic.ca

Photo:
www.avenue-photo.com

Tracey Manailescu is the Co-Founder of WPIC inc. and has been a professional wedding planner for 15 years. She also owns the wedding planning firm, Tracey M Events.

You have seen her quoted in many different newspapers, magazines, on television and in Blogs giving expert wedding and business advice.  Weddings and events that Tracey has coordinated have also been featured. 

She regularly speaks at Wedding Conferences around the world.

Considerations for Hiring a Cinematographer

We are thrilled to share this beauty of an article with you! Great tips, beautiful images and talented superstars Christine & Rich are guest bloggers on our site today.

Considerations for Hiring a Cinematographer

By Christine & Rich Yodsukar, The Yodsukars

www.weddingprocourses.com

It can be difficult enough sifting through a seemingly endless list of photographers to find the perfect one for your client, but what about finding them their dream Cinematographer? Add to that the fact that Cinematographers vary across such a broad spectrum- from newbie to celebrity wedding filmmakers, and it’s no surprise one may find it challenge to pair their client with just the right fit.

Not sure what should be considered your deciding factors? Well, we have three areas of interest that you can use to talk to your client about that will help you nail down the best Cinematographer for your event.

Lauren and Louis (Click on photo to view on Vimeo)

Budget

Perhaps the first and most important thing to consider when finding the best Cinematographer for your client is their budget. Although in past years videography has traditionally cost far less than photography, times are changing, and rightly so. Some Cinematographers use very high end gear and spend days before and after the actual wedding filming footage for their edits. They tend to have a great deal of equipment due to the nature of videography, and their work can also require higher numbers of shooters. As a planner, you may want to consider asking Cinematographers for their pricing lists to have on hand. Find that some are hesitant to share? Even having a starting price on file can save you both time when qualifying prospects.

Style

Your clients’ style is crucial to consider when finding them the perfect Cinematographer. Are they into vintage and thrift stores? Might be best to show them videographers that shoot on Super 8 film and use heavy vintage editing. Does your client want to be the star of their own hollywood blockbuster? In this case you can direct them toward a Cinematographer that shoots in a highly stylized manner, creating a film that is less about every moment of the wedding day and more about creating a compelling story on film. As with any vendor referrals, it’s always vital to have Cinematographers with a variety of styles in your arsenal to help clients better visualize their options.

Katie and Jonathon (Click on photo to view on Vimeo)

Taste

Is your client asking for video services because they want to or because their parents want them to? More traditional videographers have a very distinct style in which they usually film the entire day from start to finish with very few cuts in the footage. This is then delivered to the client just how it was filmed with no edits, except perhaps a few fades between shots and script-y titles. In short, perfect for mom and dad, but not necessarily what the couple may want.

The emerging new school of Cinematographers are creating highly edited stories that capture the essence of the couple, and feel more like you are watching movie fit for the big screen. Ultimately, it is up to your client to decide which will make them the happiest in the end.

With so many varieties of Cinematographers out there, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. By talking your client through their Budget, Style, and Taste, you will have a strong sense of who to send them to. It’s always a great idea to have a list of your preferred vendors on hand that you know and have worked with, but just remember that with so many amazing shooters out there and with ever-differing clients, it can always pay off to throw a wildcard in the bag!

Sherry and Andrew (Click on photo to view on Vimeo)

Christine and Rich Yodsukar are the power couple behind Los Angeles based Photography & Cinematography studio, The Yodsukars. They cater to luxury weddings both in the States and abroad, can be seen frequently on WEtv and OWN, and coach Photographers and Cinematographers to better their technical and business skills through their Mentoring program.

Love Mexico 2014

www.wpic.ca

Photo by DecordovaPhoto.ca

by Kaley Campbell, WPIC Office Manager

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by PixanPhoto.com

Photo by PixanPhoto.com

What a week.  Flying back into Toronto after an amazing week in Riviera Maya was more than a dose of reality.  I could be seen at the airport with a winter jacket, a maxi summer dress, and a brand new outlook on destination weddings, especially to Mexico.  Love Mexico had outdone themselves, again, and definitely showed us wedding planners, travel agents, and everyone else in the industry what Mexico has to offer.

Touching down in Mexico around 11am, I was greeted by the lovely Mexican climate and about a dozen WPIC members.  For me, this was the first time I had met the majority of these ladies, and I instantly felt welcomed.  After our bags got searched and we got questioned why in the world we brought so many candles and pens to Mexico, we were off on our Olympus shuttle to the Hard Rock in Riviera Maya.

Hard rock riviera maya

After all of us piled out of the shuttle, there was a ton of staff there to greet us with big smiles and welcomed us to the resort.  Our check in consisted of fruity drinks, excellent spreads of food, and a well decorated lobby. We were given some Love Mexico Swag, our room keys, and the afternoon to rest up before the meet and great.  And by rest, I mean the afternoon at the swim up bar with a great stage show and getting acquainted with my fellow WPIC ladies.

That evening we had the chance to check out the Young Leaders Pre Cocktail, which was held at the Heaven Lounge.   It was a great chance to mix and mingle over cocktails, before the main meet and great started.  The main welcome Cocktail happened in the lobby where we registered. You could find collections of travel agents and planners finding people they haven’t seen in quite some time and it had the feel of a high school reunion, but with better food and without the drama.

Photo by RobertLondon.com

Photo by RobertLondon.com

Our first Mexican feast followed, and what a feast it was.  This was my first real Mexican meal, and it did not disappoint.  The meat was well seasoned and cooked, and the buffet style set up allowed us to get what we would like, and leave the food that we couldn’t pronounce.  After this meal we all found ourselves over at the Heaven lounge where we all had more drinks, a few shots, and a ton of laughs.

Centrepiece at Opening Dinner Photo by PixanPhoto.com

Centrepiece at Opening Dinner Photo by PixanPhoto.com

Photo by PixanPhoto.com

Photo by PixanPhoto.com

Day 2 came way too early, but with all the information that was to come we needed to start this early.  We woke to sun shining in our patios, and if everyone else did the same as I did, I started my day with room service and a soak in the Jacuzzi. We all met at 8 am for breakfast at the convention centre, and the sweet, sweet coffee that was aplenty. I know I wasn’t the only one needing it.

Photo by PixanPhoto.com

Kitzia Morelos, Co-Producer of Love Mexico. Photo by PixanPhoto.com

love mexico hard rock-66-6

Araminta Castillo, Co-Producer of Love Mexico. Photo by PixanPhoto.com

Photo by PixanPhoto.com

Photo by PixanPhoto.com

We started our day in a huge room that had beautiful linens, a grand stage, and amazing décor.  Our morning started with hearing from the Mexico tourism board, and moved into hearing from Tracy French, Elyse Elkin, and Frank Maduro.   All three talked about the wonders of Mexico, and how to get the most while booking a destination wedding.  Frank specifically talked about the Hard Rock and showed us its style with engaging videos and lively stories.  Next we had a panel discussion about how to best engage your clients with destination weddings lead by my good friend Nancy Barkley and answered by Lili Anciola, Sarah Prease, and Sam Combs. Our next panel explained why to go to Mexico for your destination weddings and how to best sell the value of “you”. This was led by Jane Custer, and had Tracy French,  Brenda O’Neale,  and Elyse Elkin speaking.

Photos by PixanPhoto.com

Photos by PixanPhoto.com

Next we moved right into our appointments with the Mexican suppliers, AKA: the HUGE room filled with booths that were captivating, interactive, and some even had great giveaways.  It was hard to move from one booth to the next because each vendor had its own captivating spell making you want to check out each location personally.

Lunch was served in the lively Verve Ballroom, and was decked out top to bottom like a Mexican fair.  This included some of the staff dressing up in Mexican celebration attire, beautiful colors, and fake mustaches. It made the lunch feel even more authentic.

The Love Mexico Producers presenting thoughtful gifts to Association Presidents, Lisa Sheldon, David Wood & WPIC's own, Danielle Andrews Sunkel. Photo by PixanPhoto.com

The Love Mexico Producers presenting thoughtful gifts to Association Presidents, Lisa Sheldon, David Wood & WPIC’s own, Danielle Andrews Sunkel. Photo by PixanPhoto.com

We then travelled back to our seats from the morning, and listened to Ed Cotton, Lisa Sheldon, and David Wood speak about partnering wedding planners with travel agents and how this could be the key to success, followed by a quick presentation on Los Cabos.

After that some of us went back to our prescheduled appointments, and some of us found ourselves back at the pool.

Nancy, Sandy, Danielle & Amanda

Nancy, Sandy, Danielle & Amanda, photo by moi

6:30pm came and we all packed on buses and headed over to the Barceló Maya Beach Resort where we were greeted by the most stunning lobby, and a heard of bongo players.  It was rumoured that some members of Love Mexico were even falling in love with the good looking drummers.  The drummers personally escorted us in a roundabout way to the Captain Morgan bar, and huge buffet. Barceló also offered free henna to our members, and also there was photo op booth.  This was such a nice touch, however with so many Love Mexico participants; the lines were a little too long.  They definitely made up for this with the amazing array of food, and fantastic all inclusive trips given out to some lucky guests.

Photos by PixanPhoto.com

Photos by PixanPhoto.com

After dinner we all piled back on the buses and headed back to the club.  WPIC members could be spotted all over the dance floor, at the bar, and especially dancing it up in the pool until early hours in the morning.

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7 am was a tough wake up call, for some more than others. But up we were and back at the conference centre with bread and coffee to soak up the shenanigans from the night before. Tatiana Byron started our day with an amazing presentation on marketing and profiling the average brides’ habits.  Lakis Charalambous then spoke about Olympus Tours and Cherie Ronning about networking.  We went back to finish up with the suppliers, and headed right out to the beach and the pool.

Photo by PixanPhoto.com

Photo by PixanPhoto.com

Our lunch was served at the Ipanema Restaurant, and we went right into a Hard Rock Riviera Maya site inspection.  This was a little disappointing to some, after the lively presentation the day before from Frank that talked about all the luxury rooms that Hard Rock has to offer, but the rooms didn’t end up on the tour.  However the Hard Rock in itself is anything but disappointing.  From the pools to the staff, it is amazing top to bottom.

Love Mexico 20142

We then dove right into some networking via the pool party, and everyone trailed away to get ready for the real party:  The 70s party.

Unfortunately we are missing about 10 people here, but here is a photo of some WPICers in our finest 70's attire.  Photo by PixanPhoto.com

Unfortunately we are missing about 10 people here, but here is a photo of some WPICers in our finest 70’s attire. Photo by PixanPhoto.com

Walking through the lobby it was quite clear I was the first one in my attire, and I got tons of awkward stares and even some pictures with some guests.  But this just made the experience all the more enjoyable.  Stepping back in time with our crazy get ups, we all met over at the conference centre for an amazing supper, and the best party starter: Big Party Orchestra.  If the drummer didn’t get you with his looks, the band definitely did with their personalized variations of popular music.  We danced until we heard the club calling our name, and then we danced at the club late into the night.

Photo by PixanPhoto.com

Photo by PixanPhoto.com

love mexico hard rock-734

Photo by PixanPhoto.com

The next morning was both a happy and sad one.  Getting to the airport in our dresses and beach attire, and getting off the plane to a winter storm surge in Toronto was not the most favorable feeling, however coming home with all the information that Love Mexico provided and the new connections I have made, made the trip’s experience irreplaceable.  Love Mexico has provided me with a brand new outlook to destination weddings, especially in Mexico, and has provided me with all the tools and contacts needed to plan any sort of Mexican destination event.

Photo by PixanPhoto.com

Photo by PixanPhoto.com

A special shout out to all of the Love Mexico employees. I have never seen such passionate and dedicated staff, (besides myself of course: P), that made this experience the amazing one that it was.

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Photo by PixanPhoto.com

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.

How do you Handle Stress?

By: Tracey Manailescu

www.wpic.ca

Photo:
www.avenue-photo.com

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

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

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

Here are some things to consider:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WPIC Goes to Couples Resorts in Negril, Jamaica

By: Tracey Manailescu

www.wpic.ca

Photo:
www.avenue-photo.com

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

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

Couples Swept Away, Negril JA

Couples Swept Away, Negril JA

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Couples Swept Away -Pro Pool

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Couples Swept Away -Vendors on the beach

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Beautiful sunset at Couples Swept Away

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Ceremony location at Couples Swept Away

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Spa at Swept Away

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Another gorgeous sunset at Couples Swept Away

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

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Couples Negril

Jamaica Negril pool

Pool at Couples Negril

Jamaica reception area at Negril

Reception location at Couples Negril

Jamaica Treehouse for massage Negril

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

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Beach ceremony location at Couples Negril

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Couples Negril garden ceremony location

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

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

Couples Extraordinary Inclusions:

 

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

WPIC at Jamaica Bridal Expo

By: Tracey Manailescu

www.wpic.ca

Danielle and I were invited to speak at Jamaica’s Bridal Expo “Wedding Conference” on Friday, September 19th, 2014 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Montego bay, Jamaica. We had not one, but two seminars that we presented. We were in wonderful company amongst the other speakers (as seen below). We then were invited to “Brides Night Out” at Robbie’s Kitchen which was by invitation only. This was in honour of the 10 couples who won a trip to Jamaica from Brides Magazine to  as well as had a booth in the trade show of the Jamaica Bridal Expo on September 20th & 21st, 2014 to promote our WPIC certification course in Jamaica on January 17th & 18th, 2015 at Couples San Souci.

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

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Photo: Max Earle

Jamaica Robbies Kitchen party 2014

Jamaica Robbies Kitchen Sign

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Jamaica Robbies Kitchen party Tom & us 2014

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

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

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Some of the amazing booths at the Jamaica Bridal Expo:

Jamaica Bridal Expo Sharon Saint T Bair

Jamaica Bridal Expo Luxe Booth

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Wedding Planner Plus Jamaica

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

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