Tracey Manailescu and Danielle Andrews  Cofounders of The Wedding Planners Institute of Canada Share how Planners can play a crucial role in COVID-19, weddings and events.

What are some of the key reasons newly engaged couples should hire a planner no matter how micro their celebration is? (Tracey Manailescu)

Tracey and Danielle Cofounders of The Wedding Planners Institute of Canada Photography : Jolvi Photography epic training at Bright Lights Event Venue

Thanks to COVID-19, our entire lives, including the world of weddings, have been turned upside down. Our job as wedding planners has always been to have a solid plan in place and to ensure that it is executed to the best of our ability.

Photography : Jolvi Photography

“Ongoing support within the WPIC Alumni Association, continuous learning opportunities with our bi-monthly events and staying current with the laws and legalities in the wedding industry are so important to us. We have very high expectations of our alumni and their continued education, and it shows in the professionalism in which WPIC alumni are known for.” Tracey Manailescu

We have backup plans; we are ready to adapt and change as situations arise, and we do it with professionalism and decorum. With COVID-19 at times, we have felt like fish floundering, but we get it done.

Photography : Jolvi Photography

Our couple’s plans have changed, restrictions have been implemented for ceremonies and receptions, wedding dates have been moved, guest lists have had to be modified, and everything that they had dreamed and saved for has been amended. Sometimes, these plans have changed more than once. Contracts with all of the wedding vendors have had to be changed or cancelled and so much more.

Photography : Jolvi Photography

It has been overwhelming at times for us, I can only imagine how frustrating and stressful it has been for all of the couples affected by it all.

Having a planner to advocate on the couple’s behalf, stand up for them, and to negotiate and communicate with everyone involved is priceless.

Most of the larger weddings that were cancelled or postponed from 2020, 2021 and 2022 have and will have, limited dates to accommodate.

florals : Corainder girl Photographer Paul McNulty Venue Berkeley Fieldhouse

Couples will need to consider weekdays or even different seasons. Whether the couple is newly engaged or moving over from the last wedding season, it will be different than what they had planned in their heads.

Photograph : Paul McNulty Venue 1871 Berkeley Church
Berkeley Fieldhouse camera Branded By Hand
Photography : Jolvi Photography Bright Lights Event Venue

Micro weddings or elopements can be beautiful and oh, so memorable.  They are intimate and can even be luxurious. The couple can spoil their guests and make incredible memories with those they love most.

Tiffany Pratt designs at Berkeley Fieldhouse camera Paul McNulty

A planner can make unique suggestions and provide solutions to concerns that the couple may never have thought of all while ensuring it is up to par with the latest changes and restrictions in place for everyone’s safety.”

Photography : Jolvi Photography WPIC Training Venue : Bright Lights Toronto
Photography : Jolvi Photography WPIC Training at Bright Lights Event venue

What advice would you give a couple who wants to make a booking with a venue, a planner, or other professionals in the COVID-19 situation but is apprehensive about it? (Danielle Andrews)

This is such an awful time for anyone dealing with weddings, whether as a wedding professional or as a couple looking to get married.  There is so much uncertainty and absolutely no one knows what the rules and regulations will be in the next while regarding weddings.  For couples trying to make plans, I would suggest having two plans: their dream wedding, and a wedding that will happen no matter what.  The dream wedding can be the celebration that happens when things open back up fully, the wedding that happens no matter, the actual wedding ceremony, where they commit to each other and there is absolutely nothing stopping them from having that.

florals : Corainder girl Photographer Paul McNulty Venue Berkeley Fieldhouse

For couples wanting to start planning their dream wedding I suggest looking very carefully at any contracts, make sure that there is flexibility to change dates, no high attrition rates if numbers need to be drastically changed, and no outrageous rescheduling fees.  On the same note, the couple needs to be prepared to pay rescheduling fees as each of these vendors will be doing work and rescheduling and helping, giving of their time, even if the event cannot happen as originally planned.  Planning a wedding under normal circumstances can be stressful and emotional, under these new ever-changing conditions it takes even more patience and understanding, but remember, the most important thing is marrying your love, the rest is the celebration.

Berkeley Fieldhouse camera Branded By Hand
venue; Airship37 Photography : Paul McNulty

What are some great examples you have seen of professionals collaborating throughout COVID-19 to support each other’s businesses? (Tracey Manailescu) 

I have seen so many examples of wedding pros coming together for the betterment of their couples, as well as the wedding community. There have been tons of affordable virtual conferences and educational webinars on so many interesting topics to increase our knowledge. I’ve read so many articles about how wedding professionals are sharing how they have adapted and changed their businesses so we can get ideas for our own businesses.

 

Wedding pros are writing reviews for those who have gone above and beyond more than ever, and of course, industry collaborations teaming up for micro-wedding packages seem to be well received.

What key things in your wedding planning education program have you heard have prepared your graduates to continue to work in this climate? (Danielle Andrews)

Our planners have had to use the resources and skills they learned through training to be able to navigate client and vendor relations to help their couples reschedule their weddings and events, sometimes even 3 or 4 times.

One of the resources that have benefitted our certified wedding planners the most during this unprecedented time is having access to each other through our alumni group.  We have provided on-going, new education, to our planners with information webinars with industry experts, blog posts, newsletters, we have provided new contract wording from a lawyer, provided a platform for planners to ask questions of each other and share their own tips with how they are handling things, what they are doing for their clients and information they have gleaned from government agencies. It has been wonderful to see everyone pulling together to help each other and their clients during this devastating time.

The Wedding Planners Institute of Canada

Photography : Jolvi Photography