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WPIC Year in Review: 2015

WARNING: At WPIC, we love our photos, so prepare for a bunch of photos and video ūüėČ

Every year, we at WPIC, start writing about the year past, and every year we are amazed at just how much fabulous we can pack into 365 days!

We now have over 6,500 WPIC Alumni all around the world, including: Canada, USA, Mexico, The Bahamas, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Antigua, Barbuda, Turks & Caicos, Grand Cayman, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, England, France, Brussels, Germany, Spain, Italy, Romania, Sweden, Norway, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Ghana, Nigeria, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Australia, and more!

We started the year off with an International Class held in Jamaica, at Couples San Souci in Ocho Rios, lead by WPIC Instructor Monica Caesar.

Our WPIC class at Couples San Souci in Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Our WPIC class at Couples San Souci in Ocho Rios, Jamaica

The lovely class break hosted by Couples Resorts

The lovely class break hosted by Couples Resorts

For the last few years WPICers have started the year off with the “WPIC Kickoff”, an event put together by our WPIC Regional Representatives.¬† 2015’s theme was “Be Bold” and our Reps didn’t disappoint! Check out the video courtesy of EventSource.

See more photos and the complete write-up here. 2016’s Kick-off promises to be amazing!

At the Kickoff, we said we were going to focus on featuring our WPIC Alumni, their events and accomplishments.  Our Alumni have given us tons to gush about!

Within our “Featuring You Campaign” we launched the hashtag #LifeofaWPICWeddingPlanner for Twitter and Instagram.¬† Alumni can tag their photos of events and we might repost it on our WPIC Instagram feed @WPICinc.¬† We have also featured many events and weddings here on the WPIC Blog.

In March, WPIC Co-founders Danielle and Tracey participated in the Hong Kong Overseas Wedding Show!

While out for a morning walk along the streets of Hong Kong, they were thrilled to see the WPIC Logo go by on a city bus and then found it at a bus stop when they were walking by.  What an exciting surprise!!

WPIC_in_hongkong

We brought WPIC Alumni, Janis Martinello of Brocade Events, on as our WPIC Regional Representative Manager to help oversee the WPIC Regional Representatives and help provide stellar Professional Development Events for our Alumni.

Janis

Janis Martinello of BrocadeEvent.com and WPIC Regional Representative Manager Photo by PhatDogVisuals.com

We also held our Wedding Pro Workshop in Calgary at the end of March.

Wedding Pro Workshop Calgary

http://www.f8photography.com/

Photo by f8photography.com

See our recap Blog of this amazing two-day event here.

In April, we sponsored The Wedding Lounge at the Canada Special Event Conference featuring Youngsong Martin from Wildflower Linens and Renee Strauss of Beverly Hills Bride fame.

weddinglounge

In June we took 11 Destination Wedding Coordinators with us to visit the Couples Resorts in Jamaica.

Photo: PhatDogVisuals.com

Photo: PhatDogVisuals.com

Watch the Video shot by Rohan Laylor of Phat Dog Visuals and edited by Wedding Films Toronto below.

Co-founders Tracey and Danielle then flew to Barbados to deliver an International Wedding Consultant and Coordinator Certification class at Ocean Two.

barbados

During the summer, we had a custom Swarovski crystal-encrusted WPIC sign created for us by Love Letters by Elite Designs.  WPIC Office Manager, Kaley Campbell, obviously loved the sign and insisted on bringing it everywhere.  We posted the photos of her and the sign in some strange places, on our Instagram account @WPICinc.

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“We don’t know why she brings the WPIC sign everywhere! LOL”

In July, we took over the studios at Phat Dog Visuals and had a “WPIC Office Design Challenge.”¬† We each were assigned a chair flower and given $150 to design a theme around that flower, using similar elements.¬† Our Alumni and Blog readers then voted on their favourite design.

Read the Blog about the Challenge to see the full designs and then the Results Blog.

One Table, Three Looks

One Table, Three Looks

Early in August, WPIC Co-founders Tracey Manailescu and Danielle Andrews Sunkel, went onsite at Jewel Resort’s Runaway Bay location to train and certify the wedding and event staff at all of the Jewel Resorts, as well as the Hilton Rose Hall Spa Resort.

The wonderful group at Jewel Resorts & Hilton Rose Hall during their WPIC Certification Training

The wonderful group at Jewel Resorts during their WPIC Certification Training

Also in August, we held a fantastic Destination Wedding Specialist Certification class, followed by a pool party at the Radisson Admiral Hotel in Toronto.  The pool party was a major success to cap off the event thanks to D & W Entertainment.  Check out some of the photos of the event courtesy of A. Vision Studios or visit their Facebook page to see all of the photos.

WPIC_DWC_event

Just some of the Destination Wedding Professionals in attendance. Photo by AVisionStudios.ca

WPIC_cn_tower

We had to get a photo with some of our Alumni with the WPIC sign in front of the iconic CN Tower. Photo by AVisionStudios.ca

DWENTGROUP_WPIC

Devon John of D & W Entertainment Group Photo by AVisionStudios.ca

September is always a very busy month for us at WPIC, and this September was no different.¬† Co-Founders Danielle Andrews Sunkel and Tracey Manailescu were not only speakers for the 8th time at the Wedding MBA Convention in Las Vegas, but they also MC’d and managed the new Wedding Planner Track breakouts.

 We've just finished our 2nd seminar on "International Wedding Trends" at #weddingmba in Las Vegas. The awesome Colleen Ashton presented us with lei's Fed Ex'ed for our presentation all of the way from Hawaii! #WPIC

WPIC Cofounders, Tracey and Danielle, with WPIC Alum, Colleen Ashton of DreamWeddingsinParadise.com. They had just finished their 2nd seminar on “International Wedding Trends” at Wedding MBA in Las Vegas. Colleen presented T & D with lei’s Fed Ex’ed for their presentation all of the way from Hawaii!

Before the conference ended in Las Vegas, Danielle and Tracey were on a plane to Jamaica to speak at the Jamaica Wedding Professionals Conference for the second year.

danielle_jamaicaTracey_jamaica

WPIC Instructor and Destination Wedding Planning Guru, Monica Caesar of Aisle Plan Your Day, was also a speaker at the Conference.

WPIC Instructor Monica Caesar speaking at the Jamaica Wedding Professionals Conference.

WPIC Instructor Monica Caesar speaking at the Jamaica Wedding Professionals Conference.

They then taught a Wedding Consultant and Coordinator Certification course at the Couples Swept Away Resort.

Couples_WPIC_Jamaica

Our students from Jamaica, England, USA and Canada!

A week later WPIC held its Semi-Annual “Working Head Shot Extravaganza.” This is a chance for our Alumni to get amazing photos by professional photographer for their website and Social Media pages. Over 30 vendors came together to create stunning backdrops for our Alumni. See this phenomenal video by Tom Sokalski of Wedding Films Toronto showcasing the event.

December means the Love Mexico Conference for WPIC.¬† Each year we are proud supporters of this amazing event in which many WPIC Alumni always attend.¬† This year we were extra proud because two WPIC Alumni were also speakers at the Conference!¬† Paras Mehta delivered a fabulous seminar about Destaintion Wedding Decor and Jamie Valdes-Reich sat on a panel for Destination Wedding Travel Agents.¬† Danielle and Tracey were thrilled to present the 2-hour seminar, “Anatomy of Destination Wedding Planning” to a stand room-only group, along with Deborah Moody, Executive Director of the ACPWC.

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After Love Mexico, Danielle and Tracey stayed on in the Riviera Maya to facilitate the 4th WPIC training and certification of the Palace Resorts Wedding department.

The fabulous students in our 4th Palace Resorts class!

The fabulous students in our 4th class at Palace Resorts!

We are always striving to improve our courses & Alumni Association, and 2016 will be no different.  We have FAM trips, specialized classes, professional development events and course improvements planned and scheduled.

WPIC 2014 Year in Review

From the WPIC Co-founders, Tracey Manailescu & Danielle Andrews Sunkel

Photo by HazelR.com at the Shelborne Wyndham Grand in Miami

Photo by HazelR.com at the Shelborne Wyndham Grand in Miami

Each year, we provide a re-cap of all that has happened in the world of WPIC, and there is always a lot.  2014 was no exception.

WPIC & WPIC Alumni in the Media

WPIC Wedding Trends Todays Bride articleWe are so proud of our WPIC Alumni. ¬†From awards, magazine features, television shows and news spots, they have received so many accolades and an amazing amount media attention this year. ¬†Here are just a few highlights as we can’t possibly fit all of the accomplishments of our many alumni in this post:

Parlez-vous Fran√ßaise? Hablas Espa√Īol?

francaise espanolWe had our wedding planner course translated into French and Spanish to better accommodate our international students.  More languages will be coming shortly.

Nous avons eu le programme de planificateur de mariage traduit en français pour mieux accueillir nos étudiants internationaux.

Ten√≠amos nuestro programa planificador de la boda traducido al espa√Īol para acomodar mejor a nuestros estudiantes internacionales.

Speaking Engagements

www.wpic.ca

In The Nation Newspaper for the our speaking engagement at the Forever I Do show in Barbados

This year we spoke at international wedding conferences, conventions and symposiums including:

  • The Mississauga Total Wedding Show “Tips for Planning a Great Wedding”
  • Forever I Do in Barbados about “Planning the Perfect Wedding”
  • Wedding MBA in Las Vegas about “International Wedding Trends”
  • The Jamaica Wedding Professionals Conference in Montego Bay, Jamaica, where we delivered two seminars about, “International Wedding Trends” and “Practices of Successful Wedding Professionals.” ¬†

WPIC Events

There were tons of learning and networking opportunities provided to WPIC Alumni through out the year:

WPIC Adminsitration Change

www.wpic.caWe have had big changes within the WPIC administration office, we said “Goodbye” to, Kim Choy, who has moved on to a wonderful position as Event Co-ordinator for another company, and said “Welcome” to our new Office Manager, Kaley Campbell.

Kim was with us for over 5 years, since she was an intern at WPIC Inc.  Her full-time start coincided perfectly with our move to our head offices in Markham, so it felt like she was with us from our new beginning.

We had 427 applications for Kim’s job! ¬†We went over each resume with a fine-toothed combed, narrowed the applicants to 10 interviews and when it felt like we were not going to find that “perfect fit”, we got one more resume. ¬†We were impressed by Kaley’s experience as an¬†Adminstration Assistant and her degree in Marketing. ¬†When we met her, we knew her go-getter, bubbly personality was perfect! ¬†After checking her references (as soon as she left our interview), we hired her within the hour.

Kaley fit in quickly and has already worked on a conference and accompanied Danielle to Mexico to represent WPIC!

2015
In 2015, we are looking forward to providing opportunities and supporting alumni who are willing to constantly better themselves.  We never stop learning, improving, and reinventing ourselves and WPIC as the market demands.  We truly believe that the best way to keep the wedding industry strong, is to share knowledge and best practices so that ALL wedding professionals are properly educated.  We are stronger and better when we work together.

We wish you nothing but success!
Danielle & Tracey

WPIC 2010 Year in Review

A Message from the founders of The Wedding Planners Institute of Canada, Danielle Andrews Sunkel and Tracey Manailescu:

Danielle and tracey speaking wpic

To borrow a line from Master Wordsmith, Charles Dickens: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." 

What a busy year we have had!  We've had disappointments, surprises, accomplishments and many proud moments.  We've been imitated, (but never duplicated) time and again.

2010 solidified our International reputation and focus of The Wedding Planners Institute of Canada. Students travelled from Germany, Belgium, Mexico, Hong Kong, St. Lucia, Barbados, Jamaica and many other places to join our classes and association.  There are now over 2900 WPIC certified Wedding Coordinators worldwide.

In February, we were invited to visit the County Fermanagh in Northern Ireland where we stayed in a different castle every night! We also attended a Wedding Show in Dublin. Read about our Irish Wedding Adventures here, where we profile the various castles (such as Crom Castle, Belle Isle, Lough Erne Golf Resort, the National Trust Properties, etc) and what they offer to couples who wish to wed or honeymoon in Fermanagh.

Tracey and noel at crom castle

In March, we travelled to Bahamas to train and certify 46 people from the Bahamas Bridal Association, which included members from the outer islands, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, the Wedding Coordinators at the Atlantis, Sheraton Nassau, Wyndham Cable Beach and British Colonial Hilton Resorts to name but a few.

Bahamas wpic certificationPhoto courtesy of: Dominic Duncombe Photography

In June, we were invited to train and certify all of the on-site Wedding Coordinators from Palace Resorts in Mexico.  We brought 10 WPIC Alumni with us to tour the resorts in the Mayan Riviera to see what they offer our clients.Palace wpic certification

All thoughout the year, our alumni were offered opportunities to visit Jamaica, Bahamas, Antigua, St. Lucia, and Mexico on various FAM trips arranged through our travel partners; Sandals Resorts, SuperClubs Breezes, Palace Resorts and Air Canada Vacations.

WPIC was sought out by the Media on numerous occasions to share our expertise and opinion for newspapers, bridal magazines and television shows.  We were also able to extend several Media opportunities to our members at WPICAlumni.

All throughout the year we ran full-page, national ads in Today's Bride and Weddingbells magazine, encouraging couples to seek WPIC certified Wedding Professionals.  To further publicize the accomplishments of our Alumni, we instituted The Wedding Planner of the Month, which publicly showcases and profiles a successful WPIC Wedding Coordinator at the beginning of each month.

During the summer we aquired and renovated new offices with more space to accommodate our growing number of support staff and to better & more efficiently support the members of WPICAlumni.  When we were finished the renovations in September, we of course had a party to warm the offices. 

During the year we spoke about Wedding and Destination Wedding Planning at the Wedding MBA Convention in Las Vegas, and several Wedding Shows.

Wpic at weddingmba

We practised what we preach about Continued Learning and we attended wedding and event seminars and conferences in Grand Cayman, Ireland, Mexico, Bahamas, Canada and all over the USA (Las Vegas, New York, Fort Lauderdale, and Palm Beach).

WPIC conference at atlantis

November 1-5, 2010 we held our 6th annual Wedding Professionals Conference in The Bahamas to much Media Acclaim.  Our keynote speaker was none other then Colin Cowie.

WPIC with Colin Cowie and Jayne Hallock

The other fine speakers included: Mary Dann-McNamee, duo Jung Lee & Josh Brooks, Tom Haibeck, Peter Merry, Andy Ebon, Richard Emanuelle and Megan Cole-Karagory. 

Wpic gala at sandals

Esteemed sponsors included Destination Weddings & Honeymoons magazine, WedLock Magazine and The Bahamas Tourism Board to name a few.

WPIC logoIn order to get ready for 2011, we refreshed and rebranded the look of WPIC with our new logo, added a Facebook fan page and dedicated time each day to uphold our Twitter presence.  We will continue to update this Blog at least every Monday and Thursday, and more often if we have interesting news that just can't wait ;)  Just as we are rebranding and energizing the look of WPIC, we will be putting our energies into refreshing the inner workings of WPIC and helping our Alumni be the best they can be.

2011 is going to be an amazing year for WPIC!

Thanks for reading!

Danielle and Tracey