by Danielle Andrews SunkelDownload The Truth About Wedding Competition pdf
by Danielle Andrews SunkelDownload The Truth About Wedding Competition pdf
By: Tracey Manailescu
Guess where we were last week? On a VIP Familiarization trip to St. Lucia with Sandals!
It is so important to visit the properties you want to deal with, so you can share accurate information with your couples when planning a destination wedding or honeymoon with them. I know the service they can expect, and can help point the couples in the right direction for resorts best suited to meet their needs.
I co-produced our 5th "Wedding Professionals International Conference" at Beaches, Turks & Caicos in 2009, and coordinated a Destination wedding last New Year's Eve at Sandals Royal Bahamian in the Bahamas.
The only Sandals properties I have yet to see are Antigua and The Exumas.
What a beautiful island this is. As soon as the plane got close to landing I was hooked. The mountains, the lushness, the stunning water all make St. Lucia a couples paradise. I experienced it with 4 other females, but I imagined what it could've been with my hubby there, LOL!
We were picked up from the airport in an Escalade. Yup. That's right. Then whisked away to Sandals La Toc with Gravol down the hatch. (Really readers, don't be a hero. You will need Gravol for the winding roads and mountainess hour-drive to the resort.)
We were greeted at Sandals La Toc by our Butlers in the Butler's lounge, who took us to our own 2 level suites. (Mine just happened to have 2 doors because one opened directly out to the ocean!!!) This came in really handy for me during my stay, because I woke up early several days and went walking along the beach with no one else around. That was dreamy, I tell you...
The food was very tasty as more spices and flavour were used. We met so many wonderful people through the week, whether they were driving the shuttles, cleaning the rooms, in the restaurants, Red Lane Spa and management. There is a genuine kindness and warmth to the people of St. Lucia. This does not just apply to staff, as we saw with the few locals we met on the beach and on a snorkelling trip. (Yes, the beaches in St. Lucia are public.)
Sandals really utilizes the location of the resorts and gives you breathtaking views at every angle. We were given the chance to experience Red Lane Spa at Sandals La Toc. (Let me insert here that I have been to Red Lane Spa every single time I have been to Sandals or Beaches. Whether it was for FAM's, two personal vacations, or our 5th annual Wedding Professionals Conference, as I mentioned above.) The experience is always the same... that awesome signature scent of lemongrass as soon as you step in the doors, clean and up-to-date equipment, and most importantly, attentive & professional staff who make you feel relaxed and literally in good hands, LOL! I got a 50 minute "Spa Margarita Mani" and a 60 minute "Spa Pedi-Colada". Oh yeah!!!!
La Toc is for lovers. Newlyweds or honeymooners can really take advantage of the nooks and crannies to steal kisses and they won't mind all of the uphill climbing to get from one end to the other, which is great for the bottom half. For others, you can always get a shuttle which drives by every 5 minutes, no worries! The resort is quieter as well, unless you go to the piano bar to listen to some great music and maybe dance a bit if you are so inclined after 11. *Not best suited for couples with mobility issues.
Halcyon is much smaller and more intimate. This is best suited to couples who want to get away from it all and just relax and enjoy each other. It would also be great to have a larger wedding party here to really connect and spend time with loved ones, or a group of friends that you enjoy spending time with and can really be together for most of the vacation. A more mature couple who just want to relax would be ideal.
Grande St. Lucian was my personal favourite. This is where I would vacation with my husband. We get bored easily and need to see variety and like to people watch. Lots to see and do. More people, in a more lively atmosphere. I am 100% a beach person, and the beach here was absolutely stunning with the views of the mountains behind it. (All 3 had great beaches I have to add.) Free shuttles for tours to downtown Rodney Bay ran out of this resort. Horseback riding right on the beach, and horses roaming freely on the other side of the property was nice to see.
Sandals Weddings by Martha Stewart have made some adjustments, which is great to see. Couples are now allowed to change up the decor so they can personalize their wedding a bit more with the options available to them. You are no longer limited to set packages. Any staff we asked about this, said it has made a big difference to the couples.
We were invited to watch this wedding above at Grande St. Lucian.
A great time with some great peeps! Thanks Sandals :)
For the fourth year in a row, The Wedding Planners Institute of Canada, will be a sponsor of this amazing convention, jam-packed with Wedding Industry Marketing tools and tips. Last year, there were more than 1500 Industry Professionals, from all over North America, in attendance.
Danielle Andrews Sunkel & Tracey Manailescu, the Founders of The Wedding Planners Institute of Canada and Producers of The Wedding Professionals International Conference, will be delivering the seminar "The Who, What, Where, Why and How of Destination Weddings", on Tuesday, September 13 at 1pm.
Industry Gurus such as Sasha Souza, Kathy Ireland, Alan Berg, Andy Ebon (The Wedding Marketing Network), Peter Merry (Author, "The Best Wedding Reception... Ever!"), to name but a few, will also be sharing their knowledge and expertise.
Be sure to visit our booth at the Vendor Fair where we will be promoting the 7th Annual Wedding Professionals Conference and offering an "Early-Booking Bonus" to Wedding MBA Attendees!
See more details about this convention here: Wedding Merchants Business Academy.
by Danielle Andrews Sunkel
We've all seen the chocolate fountain, and despite some wedding planners' opinions, it is still a huge hit on the Late Night Sweet table. Rather than the predictable sweet table, how about wowing your guests a with a Savoury Fountain instead!
Savoury Fountains use delicious sauces in place of chocolate in the double chocolate fountain. Choose from a warm cascade of nacho cheese, savoury gravy, creamy curry, tasty barbecue sauce, tangy ranch dressing, sweet plum sauce, yummy terriyaki or not-so-traditional cheese fondue. "Basically we can find a way to make almost any sauce run through our fountains," says Jeff Berg, Director of the Double Chocolate Fountain. "Our great culinary team works closely with our clients to ensure we exceed their expectations, and put together the combination they are looking for."
Double Chocolate Fountain's ideas for Savoury Fountain Stations include:
Photos by Richard Emmanuel
By: Kim Choy
In my role as Office Events Manager, at The Wedding Planners Institute of Canada, I coordinated and oversaw this event. The event was also run by ten amazing volunteers including Amanda Rego and Angelina Raykova who kept everything running smoothly and on time. Jen Luo, Reanna Dyson, Ana Martinez, Queenie Yee, Tamara Primus, Naadiya Baichan, Lydia Dass & Sheryl Hammond made the event flow nicely. Danielle Andrews Sunkel and Tracey Manailescu (President and Vice President of WPIC Inc.) were also in attendance to help out!
A working shot shows the planner fixing the linen, napkins, charger plates, flowers, bride’s gown, veil etc.
Four of Toronto’s top wedding designers took over a space at the inn. They were to create something that had never been seen before, something different, something to wow our alumni. Five GTA photographers were brought in to capture the details of these table set ups and take headshots and working shots of the WPIC Alumni.
There were seven brides and one groom in attendance to pose with our alumni for working shots fixing dresses, veils, shoes, necklaces, hair etc. Some of the brides were even able to get some really amazing shots for themselves! Six brides were dressed in white dresses and one bride was in full South Asian wedding attire! Each room had at least one bride at all times who would switch between rooms throughout the day. These brides got to put on their wedding dresses again and Rock the Frock for the camera!
WPIC attendees had the opportunity to book a makeup appointment with Dulce Avila from Makeup 4U (WPIC certified) prior to their headshot appointment! Dulce made sure that the attendees who wanted makeup for their photos were camera ready! Dulce also did all the makeup for the brides who modeled their dresses.
Emily Bates, a fabulous and speedy hairstylist was on site to create dramatic up-do’s for the brides who would be Rocking The Frock! She created curled, full up-do’s in a 30 minute time period, which usually require at least an hour! She was a rock star!
Micki’s Linen created a sparkling backdrop with a head table set for six in the Credit Valley Room, the largest room at the inn. The head table and cake table were lined with a beautiful black rosette trim, pink napkins and some bling. They also set up two guest tables which had a mixture of tall and short floral arrangements.
Designing Trendz put together a gorgeous Crystal Fantasy table in the Oakroom. The entire square table set for 8 was completely covered in bling, complete with a tall mirrored and floral centerpiece. Square mirrors were used as chargers plates at each setting.
Design2Decor produced a stunning table top that featured a tree! Yes, a tree! The tree was adorned with greenery and candles and reached the ceiling! It sat atop a square table set for 8. The table top was complete with wood-looking charger plates and rocks placed around the tree centerpiece. It really gave off a feeling that you were outside, which was perfect for the room it was in, which had picturesque windows that backed onto a forest.
The Wedding Decorators (also WPIC certified), set up in the Main Dining Room of the inn. They arranged a beautiful, jaw-dropping display of deep purple and silver. They had a 12 feet tall backdrop, deep purple table linens, & a dramatic floral centerpiece, with some bling of course! Chivari chairs added to the look, with individual vases filled with purple flowers tied to the back of the chair with a purple sash.
In the Evan’s Room at the inn, WPIC put together an escort card table with a feather centerpiece, Wayne Alldridge of Marble Weddings donated one of his seating charts he creates for clients, and the Glenerin Inn created a standard set up table.
Each room at the inn has access to a patio, so every attendee had the option of being able to take pictures outside as well in a more natural setting.
All of the coordinating stationary for the table set ups was provided by Erin Bosak of Red Thread Paper, who is also WPIC certified.
Richard Emmanuel Photography, Diana Pellizari and Amy Vryonides from Purple Martini Photography, Nikko Lim Photography & Barry Cardoso Photography were the five photographers for the day. Each photographer was stationed to a room after taking detail shots of the tables. There were 45 scheduled photo shoots in a three hour time frame. They were all fantastic as they hustling through all the appointments and then some!
Thank you to everyone who came out to attend the event, the volunteers who made it all possible, hair, makeup and stationary artists, the decorators for creating such beautiful tabletops, the photographers for hammering out all the photos and the Glenerin Inn for being the host for the event!
For a preview of some of the headshots and working shots taken by Richard Emmanuel please click here
For a preview of some of the brides photos taken by Barry Cardoso please click here
More photos will be released at a later date.
*please note that if you were an attendee, volunteer or model for this event, the photos will be sent to you in a Hi-Res format in a few weeks*
International Wedding Coordinator Certification Seminar Details:
Why not get a little sun while getting certified?
For the second time, The Wedding Planners Institute of Canada are holding our Wedding Coordinator Certification seminar in the beautiful Bahamas on May 27 & 28, 2011!
Our International Wedding Coordinator Certification Course
3-nights shared accommodation at the Sheraton Nassau (on the nights of May 26, 27,& 28, 2011)*
Morning and afternoon breaks during class time (lunch is not included)
Course Instruction, Course Manual, Lecture Notepaper, Pens, Examinations, Wedding Site tour and a Certificate of Achievement (if all requirements are met).
After successful completion of the course, you will receive a FREE membership to the WPICAlumni Association!
A Message from the founders of The Wedding Planners Institute of Canada, Danielle Andrews Sunkel and Tracey Manailescu:
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.
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.
Photo 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.
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.
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).
In 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
By: Tracey Manailescu