By: Tracey Manailescu
On Wednesday, Lataysha, Kim, Danielle and myself went to the Windsor Arms for their High Tea. If you have never been, then it is an experience you should have at least once. Danielle and I have been fortunate enough to have gone a few times at various venues for Mother's Day with our mother & grandmothers, and for Bridal Showers etc.
Coordinators, let your clients know that it is a great time to catch up with the bridal party and the mothers. As well, to wrap up a day of shopping with their girls for last minute wedding related items at Holt Renfrew, Coach, Channel, Dior etc. (which are all steps away.) *It would be appropriate to give the thank-you gifts to the bridal party at this ocassion, if it is the week or two before the wedding.
The Windsor Arms Hotel has been serving tea since 1927 and still has the original working fireplace. The Tea Room holds 42 seated guests.
A Choice of Loose-Leaf Teas (There were 4 pages of tea to choose from! Danielle had the Tibetan Tiger, I had Citralicious, Kim had a Fu Man Chu, and Lataysha had Eve's Temptation.)
Fresh Scones with Preserves
and Devon Cream
A Presentation of Fresh Sandwiches:
Smoked Salmon and Wasabi Sour Cream
with Salmon Caviar
Cucumber with Sundried Tomato Paste
and Dill Cream Cheese
While I was researching the history of High Tea, I found some interesting tidbits. Apparently tea drinking started in France in 1636, twenty some odd years before England made it famous. It was believed to cure all illnesses, and reportedly some drank up to 40 cups of it daily!
The "Afternoon Tea", as we know it, was made famous by Anna Maria Stanhope who was known as the Duchess of Bedford. The regular meals of the day were served early and late, so the Duchess would feel faint mid-afternoon. She began having a light snack of tea and bread to curb her hunger, while waiting for the dinner meal. She then began inviting friends to join her for a more social aspect. The menu increased with some more sweets added, and other socialites picked it up for their own circles to enjoy with their girlfriends.
A wonderful tradition that Queen Victoria started in 1860 (how I would have loved to meet that wonderful woman) and now carried out by Queen Elizabeth II, is to open the private gardens at Buckingham Palace three times yearly for afternoon tea. A modest 8000 guests are invited. You can view the Buckingham Palace Garden Party Statistics as it is amazing to see what goes into the event.
Yes, of course there is High Tea etiquette too. If you want to know more, you can click on the link to read more about it. It is actually very informative, and may surprise some of you. It goes into detail about where "pinkies up" came from, how to place your napkin and how to eat a scone, it explains what a moustache cup is, etc.
Example: Did you know that "taking tea" was actually frowned upon by the upper class, and considered a vulgar expression? Actually, I am incorrect for calling what we had, High Tea. It should be called Afternoon Tea. You can read more about that in there as well.
I hope you enjoyed reading this, as I certainly did, researching it.
*All photos were taken by me, Tracey Manailescu
by Caryn Lim, WPICC of A Timeless Celebration Weddings & Events Inc.
One of our most rewarding experiences took place last summer when we saved an outdoor wedding from being drenched in the rain! The ceremony was planned to be held on the terrace of a hotel. Of course, the most difficult situation for an outdoor wedding is to decide if the wedding should be kept outside or change the location to the backup indoor venue due to bad weather condition.
On the day of the wedding, my partner and I had to set up the ceremony and reception decor. The weather was beautiful and it didn't seem like it was going to rain at all. The banquets manager was suppose to make the final call. He said, "no worries, it's going to be beautiful all day, just look at the sky." We bugged him about it a few times because the weather forecast said otherwise. At first we let him have his say because he was supposed to make the final decision.
As the early afternoon passed by, we kept our eyes on the hour-by-hour weather forecast, it continued to indicated a 90% chance of rain by the late afternoon. As we setup outside, it was getting darker and windier. We stopped setting up and start on the inside in case we would be doing the outside decor for nothing. We also told the DJ to hold off on his setup and tried to convince the hotel staff to stop setting up the chairs, but unfortunately, they couldn't because they had to follow orders. This is something we have never done before, but we called the bride three times, yet she continued to say she REALLY wanted the wedding outside. During our last call, the groom said to us "listen, I know she really wants the ceremony outside, but use your best judgment and you make the call." We said "OK. We're moving everything inside. Bye."
We immediately went to look for the banquet manager, but he was nowhere to be found! We waited a bit, couldn't wait any longer, went to his assistant and told her "the ceremony will be inside, anything you need help with, we're here." Why we said that was because it was only 1.5 hours before the ceremony was to begin and the backup ceremony location was the restaurant of the hotel and all the cutlery, linens, tables and chairs had to be moved out of the way to fit 200 guests! The banquets manager was no where to be seen, the hotel coordinator finally came in to work, but all she said to us was “I am not happy with this last minute decision” and left us with only two hotel staff to help make this ceremony possible! They were already occupied moving the chairs from the terrace into the restaurant, it was only my partner and I left putting away the cutlery, linens and moving the tables and chairs without any hotel staff there to direct us! We had no choice but to grab a few guests who already arrived, explained to them the urgent situation, had them roll up their sleeves and started the workout! As soon as all the chairs and sound equipments were moved from the terrace into the restaurant, it literally started raining cats and dogs! It poured and poured and poured, so hard that we couldn't even see the outside from the large windows of the restaurant. Everyone started cheering. HUGE sigh of relief! CLOSE ONE!
That wasn't the end of the story! None of the chairs, decor and sound equipments were wet, but we still had to deal with a restaurant that was in a HUGE mess! Tables and chairs were everywhere because we didn't know where to put them! My partner and I had to improvise and we had to dismantle the head table backdrop from the lower level, bring it up to the restaurant and set it up so that we can close off a section of the restaurant and hide all the (horribly stacked) tables and chairs behind the backdrop!
Everything was pulled together JUST IN TIME! Everyone stayed beautiful, handsome and dry. The backdrop served as a beautiful background for the ceremony and photos. No one else knew what had gone wrong, not even the families of the bride and groom, not unless they were there during all the chaos or unless they peaked behind our backdrop!
-Caryn Lim, WPICC
“Hello. My name is Danielle and I am a conference junkie.”
Let me preface this article by saying, yes, I am the Co-Producer of the WPIC Conference, so of course I want you to come to our conference, but I realize our conference is not right for everyone. I truly believe conferences are an important part of continuing education for Wedding Professionals. You MUST attend conferences to stay current, educated and constantly improve yourself and your business.
“Tracey Manailescu and I have attended at least 40 different conferences in the past 5 years.”
We've attended Wedding Conferences, Meeting Conferences, Travel Conferences and Event Conferences. Some are better than others, but for almost all of them, we have taken away something we could apply to business.
No doubt, you make an investment when you attend a conference, but you are investing in making your business better and more profitable.
“If you learn even one tip that books you 2 clients, then the conference has more than paid for itself and you've still made a profit.”
I am going to break down the conferences that I feel are best for Wedding Planners to attend, BUT, just because it is on my list, does not mean its the best conference for YOU, and just because its not on my list, doesn’t mean you won’t gain something valuable by attending. You need to look at what the target of the conference is, what they will be teaching you and if it is applicable to YOUR particular business and area. Just like a Wedding, Conferences are personal to the person.
My Top 5 Picks, their targets and costs: Conferences are set up so that you can learn important business strategy and the latest trends from the best and most successful in the Industry. In order to be a better professional, you need to learn from the successful professionals.
Your government lets you write off conference expenses for a reason :) In my opinion, you are doing a disservice to yourself and your clients if you are not attending at least one Industry conference each year.
Your clients look to you for guidance, creativity and something different. Check out Event Graffiti.
Event Graffiti is very thin pieces of vinyl that look painted when applied to most smooth surfaces. It is simple to use and will quickly personalize your clients special day in a very classy way. They have great prices and add that special touch.
Event Graffiti is not only easy to apply, it is just as easy to remove without harming underlying surfaces, even the not so skilled and coordinated could apply it.
Where can you apply Event Graffiti? It can be applied to the dance floor, reception area wall, behind the head table, along the front of the bar, the possibilities are endless. Large or small, practically anything can be customized to continue the look and
theme of your event.
They do vinyl work, print custom backdrops, seating charts and can also print custom favour stickers and labels.
*All photos were taken by Corrie & Norm Oliveira of Event Graffiti
Last week, Lataysha and I, along with other WPIC Alumni attended The Etiquette Guy's Business and Dining Etiquette Seminar at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto. This event was organized by one of our WPIC Alumni, Holly Carney of Holly Matrimony Weddings.
I was so excited to attend this seminar! For some reason I've always been fascinated with etiquette. Why we practiced it, where it originated from and how to improve my etiquette.
Growing up, my family always went out for dinner, I was in my first restaurant when I was a week old. As children, my siblings and I were always raised to sit nicely at the table, use our fork, remove our hats, and be relatively quiet. I wouldn't say we grew up in a household of impeccable dinner manners, but we weren't the kids running around the restaurants screaming! By the time I was 18 months old, I could use chopsticks, and by the time I was 12 I knew which cutlery to use even for a 4-6 course meal at a restaurant.
It surprises me so much that adults these days simply don't know the proper etiquette of meeting someone for the first time, the courtesy of removing a hat while in a building or proper dining etiquette.
Lataysha and I attended this seminar on behalf of WPIC Inc. I wanted to attend this seminar, not only because I like learning about it, I wanted to have the training behind me from someone who knows what he's talking about!
Jay Remer is the Etiquette Guy. He has been trained by the Protocol School of Washington, which is the leader in etiquette and protocol services. He has planned royal, corporate, political and social events over the past 40 years.
Jay states on his website:
"Good manners and proper etiquette are based on common sense. There are reasons why we do certain things in certain ways and not in other ways. My goal is for clients to have fun sharpening their knowledge and updating their skills, and in doing so, to gain greater self-confidence, to set a good example for their peers and their families, and to develop a deep sense of respect for all people."
The first day we learned about business etiquette.
During the business etiquette seminar we were taught the 3 main proper etiquette practices:
We were taught how to greet someone with a proper handshake with the right amount of firmness, depending on the sex of the person, the positioning of the hand and how many times you "shake" the person's hand. This was such useful information, as so many times we are meeting new clients and their parents, new vendors and other important people. It is really important to know how to shake someone's hand properly - without crushing them or being too dainty!
Some other things Jay covered in the Business Etiquette:
The second day was the seminar most people were looking forward to: Dining Etiquette. Everybody eats three meals a day, so we should all know how to eat, but do we know how to eat properly?
We learned the proper seating etiquette when there is a host and one guest or many guests. We were taught how to sit - bet you didn't know there was a proper way to do that, eh?
I think one of the most important things we were taught on the second night was The Host Duties and The Guest Duties. Jay taught us whose right it is to do certain things when being the host or the guest. I find that this is so helpful not only for dinner parties, but also weddings as well.
After a few hours of teaching, it was time for our 4-course meal! It was so good!
Overall I enjoyed both nights at the seminar. I had fun catching up with old friends and meeting new people and most importantly brushing up on my etiquette and learning some new tips I never knew before!
Thank you to Holly for organizing this event and to Jay for teaching us!
by Danielle Andrews SunkelDownload The Truth About Wedding Competition pdf
by Tracey Manailescu
This is one of our most viewed blogs (2009), so I wanted to repost it.
Lately, I have to admit, I have been oddly fascinated by the growing trend of wedding band tattoos. I decided to read up on them, and share my findings with you.
Tattooing your wedding ring onto your finger is a way to show your enduring love for your partner, forever. It cannot be taken off during an argument, or put in a pocket while out-on-the-town for a night with friends. :)
Apparently, this is not a new trend. In fact, it started about 5000 years ago, in ancient Egypt when the pyramids were being built, Egyptians would tattoo their wrists and fingers to ward away illness. In Scotland and Ireland tattooing your wedding finger has been popular for many years. One of the designs that is most popular in North America stems from these two countries: the Celtic ring. The Celtic ring symbolizes “never ending love and devotion’, so what better symbol to be permanently etched into your finger.
Wedding ring tattoos will cost you about $100 each. The top half of your finger’s tattoo will last a lifetime, but the underside, or the palm side, tends to fade and blur rather quickly. This results in having to do touch ups every few years, or you have the option of only getting a half ring done.
In the US, it is illegal in some States to get tattoos below the ankles, wrists, or above the neck, so check it out first if you are going there to get them. It is said to be very painful, as there is no fatty tissue to block the pain. It can even result in hairline fractures, if not done properly, or done by a professional. 75% of UK people, who have gotten wedding ring tattoos, regret it. (Sorry, I could not find any statistics in N. America).
Some famous people that have had it done for the exchange of their wedding rings, and have lived to regret it are:
There are only a few ways to have the tattoo removed from your finger, and none of them are pretty.
What I have found just by reading up on it, is that I do not want to get wedding ring tattoos any time soon. If you or any of your couples do, please consider the serious repercussions of being unique or different.
Love can last a lifetime, but I will stick to my eternity band, thank you very much.
By: Tracey Manailescu
Photo by: Oliver Schwarzwald
Should you advise your clients about the risks of having gifts brought to the wedding reception? Theft, broken china, not enough room in the vehicles to transport it, just who is going to transport the gifts back to the parents home, who is receiving the gifts and manning the gift table, etc?
Believe it or not, there is Etiquette about just this sort of thing...
Gifts are supposed to be delivered to the bride's parents home. Yup, you read this right!
Etiquette is all about easing through situations, and to create a standard that eveyone can follow. Etiquette also says that guests have one year to give a gift, as the couple are technically, honeymooners for a year's time. So there is no need for the guests to lug it all with them to the Wedding Reception. It can be delivered beforehand, or afterwards.
When large and/or expensive gifts are brought to a reception, it creates all sorts of drama. Who is going to watch the gift table? Should security be hired, just in case? Who is going to load up the vehicles with gifts? Does the venue have a designated room to store the gifts until such time?
What if, you as the professional Wedding Coordinator, could plant this little tidbit in the couples ear, so it trickles down through the family, and word gets passed through the mothers, etc? Makes sense doesn't it?
Do you have a client with face piercings? Do they want to remove them or keep them?
People pierce different areas of their face for numerous reasons; some have an interest, some wish to accessorize their face, and some may do piercings for a living. Whatever it may be there has always been a debate whether or not brides should keep their face piercings in on the wedding day. Commonly nose piercings and eyebrow piercing are okay piercings to have and are ok to keep in on the wedding day.
However if you have more than just your nose or eyebrows pierced on your face, that is when you run into indecisive decisions, and debates.
Keeping Them In:
If the bride wishes to keep her face piercings in; and comes to you for advice. Inform her that she may want to look into wearing small studs, diamonds, or jewellery that aligns with the wedding theme, wedding dress, or the attire of the wedding. Show her that she does not want to overpower her face but to keep it settle, that way all the focus will be on her beauty not the metal in her face.
This decision should never be implemented by the wedding coordinator. If your bride chooses to remove her face piercings, and is concerned that her holes will be seen or her hole will close here is some suggestions.
Make-up is always the best way to cover them up, concealer or cover up is perfect for covering the holes, and preventing them from being seen in wedding photos or by the wedding guest. Your bride can speak to the make-up artist on the day of wedding that she wishes to hide her piercing holes. If you even have an eyebrows piercing, try styling your hair with bangs that fall down covering the area.
In some cases there are certain piercings that close within 24 hours. If your bride has worries you may suggest:
*These or just ideas and suggestions, you may know your own solutions that you can present to the bride, or the bride already may know*
Face Piercings: How many is too many!
Check out Elaine Davidson: Elaine Davidson is a Brazilian born nurse, who has over 6,000 piercings. Elaine piercings didn’t stop her from being married; she painted her face green, and walked down the aisle filled with joy to be wed. Elaine is proud of her piercings, and isn’t afraid to be seen with them, her husband Douglas Watson supports his wife and says “he loves his wife and her appearance”. To read more, check out the following links below the pictures.
Piercings are personal and often represents a person; individuality, personality, and defines them as a person. Whether the face piercings are removed or not, at the end of the day the most important thing is that the bride is HAPPY.