By: Tracey Manailescu, Co founder and Vice President of The Wedding Planners Institute of Canada
After months of planning, our “Cocktails in Cancun” Wedding Professionals Conference in Mexico has come to an end. The Grand at Moon Palace Cancun was the perfect fit for the upscale look and feel that we wanted for the event. This resort is top notch! Did you know that it is AAA Four-Diamond rated? Now you do 🙂
We have stayed at the Moon Palace several times over the years, and it is one of our favourites. The Grand was beyond our expectations. Everything is stepped up from the warm welcome we received upon arrival, to the ease of check-in, the gorgeous rooms, the stunning scenery, the beautiful pools, the decor, the artisinal drinks at the bar, and the incredible food as well as some of the most kind and wonderful staff we have ever met at a resort. (We have said this for years and years.) The Grand at Moon Palace is a five-star luxury oasis complete with an in-room whirlpool bath, top-shelf liquors, complimentary WiFi and unlimited local and long distance calls to the continental U.S. and Canada, and 24-hour room service. There are ten amazing restaurants and nine pools.
We really need to start off by thanking Juan Carlos Calderon, who is the Corporate Director of Sales, Canada for Palace Resorts and Le Blanc Spa Resorts. He is the man that made ALL of this happen. We appreciate him and value our relationship with him very much. Also,the awesome Karen Gomez who was our conference liaison and is from Le Blanc, made everything so easy for us. She was always available and such a lovely professional from start to finish.
Our wonderful attendees rolled up in the transportation provided by Palace Resorts and had free time for the rest of the afternoon until our Welcome Party and Dinner on the rooftop at the Cusco Terrace overlooking the ocean. We asked all attendees to dress in white. We were blown away by the decor, dance floor, specialty donut wall and wedding cake on display. Non-stop food and signature margaritas (as well as the full bar) and of course, amazing service the entire night.
The next day we entered right into a full day of seminars. We hand-selected these super talented wedding industry movers and shakers to share their knowledge and expertise with us, based on feedback of things our alumni wanted to learn more about.
We started off with Meagan (Eagles) Murtonen, WPICC of Botanica & Bloom.
Meagan is a regular speaker in WPIC certification courses in Niagara Falls. Her cheeky and very honest approach endears us to her. Meagan spoke about, “Social Marketing for Wedding Professionals”. She provided so many take-aways to improve our Instagram, and how to present ourselves in a more professional way that remains true to our brand. We definitely will be using some of these suggestions from here on out at WPIC Inc.
Bron Hansboro of The Flower Guy Bron provides bespoke design and styling experiences for weddings and events of all types. Bron deeply values his interactions with clients and peers alike, and understands the power of making connections through design. His motto is, “We don’t sell flowers, we sell experiences.”
Bron gave such a warm and funny seminar about his love for florals and bringing it into “Curating & Creating Killer Styled Shoots” seminar. This man is the bomb-diggity! If there is anyone who did not end up adoring him, you’d better come and answer to me!
Andrea Eppolito of Andrea Eppolito Events shared her knowledge and passion with us about her business of “Working with High End Weddings”.
Andrea is no stranger to us at WPIC Inc. We first met Andrea at Wedding MBA when Danielle and I were the Hosts & MC’s of the Wedding Track. As soon as we introduced ourselves to her, and heard her seminar, we knew that it was kismet. This wonderfully talented, and tell-it-like-it-is woman with a heart of gold was on our radar. We had to have her share her expertise with our WPIC alumni. We invited her come to Toronto at the Thompson Hotel for our “Working With High End Clients” Boutique Conference last fall. The feedback was so great from our attendees, that we knew that she was the perfect fit for “Cocktails in Cancun”.
Wendy Lee, WPICC of Asian Fusion Weddings spoke about “Creating Amazing Wedding Editorials”.
Wendy provided tips and real life scenarios in her presentation. She shared so many beautiful photos of past editorials that she has had featured, and things that she has learned from trial and error. The videos that she shared with us really made a lasting impression. We always appreciate Wendy’s professionalism and caring manner.
MARITUR is a Destination Management Company in Mexico who graciously sponsored our transportation to and from Xcaret and to Coco Bongo. What a pleasure it was to work with them from start to finish! They were so quick to respond, had amazing and attentive staff and the vehicles were clean and new. They are our definite go-to for the next event we produce in Mexico.
MARITUR is a destination management company that works together with the Mexican tourism board to promote the destination for groups, conventions and weddings. In the wedding segment MARITUR help the wedding planner to arrange the transportation for groom bride and guests as well as rehearsal dinners, amenities and welcome gifts.
Adriana Aburto spoke to our attendees and showed this video during her presentation:
Monica Caesar, WPICC of Aisle Plan Your Day shared some of her top tips of working with couples for “Destination Wedding Planning”.
Monica is an award winning, full-time destination wedding planner based in Edmonton, Alberta. She is also an instructor for us at The Wedding Planners Institute of Canada. She can add the PARTY to any situation, and does it with professionalism and skill and has a knack for making learning fun. One of the main things that Monica focused on was the pros and cons of Resort weddings vs. Offsite weddings and working together as a team with all wedding professionals involved in the wedding.
Danielle Andrews and I (Tracey Manailescu) spoke about “How to Get Published”. We discussed the submission process, what not to do, and how to make editors interested in your pitch for real weddings and styled editorials.
The next day was an excursion to Xcaret Theme Park. We started off with a wedding site inspection (of course) and then had the rest of the day to explore the park on our own. It was an incredible day!
That evening, we went to Coco Bongo night club (again transportation was provided to us by MARITUR). If you have never been, you need to see this show at least once in your life! Coco Bongo sponsored our evening. We had our own area with security in place, and drinks passed on trays non-stop.
*Thanks to the Mexico Tourism Board for connecting us 🙂
The next day was quite busy, too! A wedding-related site visit was given to the attendees to see their favourite ceremony locations, as well as behind the scenes look at the pastry chefs in action to watch them create the gorgeous wedding cakes and the pastries and cookies that would be used for our wedding set-ups later in the day.
We then had three gorgeous wedding set-ups in the Crystal Ballroom, and three awesome photographers to take our attendees new professional head shots (photos to come in the next few weeks).
What a wonderful experience it was getting to know everyone better during our Dine-Around Dinners, and having such great speakers to learn from. Some of the best moments for me personally, were the conversations I had with people in the Unique Day Club Pool when we were relaxed and just enjoying the sunshine.
Thank you to everyone who joined us for “Cocktails in Cancun”!