Photos: Phat Dog Visuals
Venue: Hilton Toronto/Markham Suites
Favours: Succulent Chocolates
by Kaley Campbell, WPIC Office Manager
The Hotel Arts is one of the most stunningly edgy hotels in all of Calgary, and of course this was the perfect choice for Danielle and Tracey to host the Wedding Professionals Workshop. This two day workshop was not the average workshop, this workshop targeted Alberta’s finest wedding professionals. The room glittered with the stunning décor from Alberta Event Design Studio, and the classic beauty set the scene for the educational experience about to take place.
(Photos taken by f8 Photography)
Day one started off with a bang. Alberta’s own Lynn Fletcher gave a step by step breakdown of a high end luxury wedding planned by her and her team. Lynn took us through the nitty-gritty details, not sparing the uncomfortable happenings which occurred during the high profile event. This was an AMAZING learning opportunity for new planners who might not be familiar with all the handlings of day-of coordination. It also was fantastic for the majority of wedding planners, who might not have had the experience with dealing with multi-million dollar events. Lynn Fletcher dazzled us while she educated us.
Next up was Bernard Callebaut. Bernard is an outstanding chocolatier with such a courageous story in the ups and downs of business. Bernard told his story from the ground up, how he became who he is now. His story dipped into his time on “Dragons Den”, and finding his new identity under his new brand of “Papa Chocolat”. For anyone owning their own business, or considering owning their own business, Bernard’s session really showed the challenges one may face, especially in the Calgary area.
Mary Swaffield, of ME & Co, packed in eight of her very own “business boosters”- educating everyone from experience. Mary spoke of networking, finances, technology, and personal “do’s and don’ts” out on the field. Mary is so passionate and driven about the Wedding Industry, and it transferred seamlessly into her seminar.
We had a spectacular lunch!
Next, Rhonda Couchigian was up. Rhonda Couchigian, founder of Rayce PR and Marketing, flew in from her firm in Las Angeles to share her knowledge in Marketing and PR within the Wedding Planning Industry. This was an intense session with so much fantastic information and tools shared to all of the attendees of the Wedding Planners Workshop. There wasn’t an empty notepad in the room.
Following Rhonda, the fabulous Diann Valentine was up to speak. Diann Valentine is a wedding and event interior designer, author, TV host, speaker, and more. This inspirational, successful, business woman got up and showed what it takes to not only book the luxury client, but to sustain a business of luxury clientele. When Diann speaks, everyone listens. She is a power house in this industry and leads by example.
Last but not least, two of my personal favorite business women in the Wedding Industry got up to speak about the (shocking!) wedding trends of 2015. Danielle Andrews Sunkel and Tracey Manailescu, co-owners of WPIC and the producers of the Wedding Professionals Workshop, put together the perfect closer to the day. They spoke about the trends that are happening around the world. These trends not only were trends that a lot of us have never heard of, there were trends that made majority of us gasp out loud. Outrageous trends that both Dani and Tracey have seen in person. I loved it.
Day two of the Wedding Professionals Workshop was all about Destination Wedding Planning. Danielle and Tracey had Monica Caesar, the owner of Aisle Plan Your Day, come in to teach the very first live rendition of WPIC’s Destination Wedding Course for both the Wedding Planning professionals and Travel Agents. The DWS/DWC course has only been offered online prior to this day, so it was brand new concept for everyone. Monica’s expertise and absolutely wonderful teaching methods left us all feeling filled with knowledge and the drive to dive into this field. We were also all dazzled by our guest speaker, Jaime Valdes-Riench, who is both a seasoned Travel Agent and Destination Wedding Specialist. Jaime spoke about all of the little details of partnerships between Planners and Travel Agents, and some of the key points you need to look for in the industry.
Both days of the Wedding Professionals Workshop brought amazing business professionals from all different fields of the Wedding Industry together, to learn more and to share experiences. Thank you to all participants, it was absolutely lovely meeting all of you and I hope to see you again at an upcoming event or workshop!
Here are photos from the Wedding Professionals Workshop that took place on November 9, 2014 at the Pantages Hotel & Spa in Toronto. All photos are by Enrique of Decordova Photography.