By: Karine Copur, WPICC, DWC of Champagne and Macarons
Let’s start by defining what a wedding planner is. From The Professional Wedding Consultant & Coordinator textbook written by Danielle Andrews and Tracey Manailescu – co-founders of The Wedding Planners Institute of Canada Inc., “a wedding planner is a skilled professional who assists in the planning and/or execution of a wedding. A wedding planner will help in selecting vendors and venues, help with budget management, theme development, and décor, supervise the event itself, and also wear many hats along the way.
The wedding planner will be your consultant, your therapist, your friend, your accountant, your negotiator, your decoration and fashion expert, food critic, make-up artist, problem solver, and a professional organizer all at once!”
The wedding planner will help couples develop the theme they have chosen, and save them time and money. The wedding planner will come dress shopping, flower picking, or even wine tasting if you would like the feedback of a French wine-lover such as myself 😉
Couples who enjoy the planning stage on their own can also hire a wedding planner for the day-of their wedding to make sure everything the couple planned goes off without a hitch.
The wedding planner will supervise and direct the wedding rehearsal, ceremony, and reception and will be there on your wedding day from start to finish (literally).
Couples who hire wedding planners for the planning stage, are most of the time busy with their own schedules or want the help of an expert, they prefer enjoying their wedding day and not worrying about a thing. Some couples who are planning destination weddings also need the help of a planner to make sure the venue or vendors they book are reliable and represent the couple’s expectations.
So, when it comes to hiring a wedding planner, which one should you choose? We have listed the reasons why you should hire a WPIC (the Wedding Planners Institute of Canada) certified wedding planner.
1. Professionally Trained and Certified
The Wedding Planners Institute of Canada has trained more than 8,500 wedding professionals in 34 countries since 2003. The WPIC provides courses to become a wedding planner & coordinator, an event designer, a destination wedding specialist, to become experts in micro-weddings, and create beautiful, styled shoots featuring our work in wedding magazines such as WedLuxe, Today’s Bride, Elegant Wedding Magazine, and many more!
Trainees go through the concepts of wedding etiquette, whether it is about invitation etiquette or table etiquette, stages of planning, checklists, and timelines, couple’s budget management, what to look for during venue visits, vendor contract reviews, emergency solutions for any problems whether it’s a stain on your dress or a strap that needs fixing.
Trainees go through exhaustive training before they get tested on their knowledge with case studies and final exam. Only if they are successful, then they become certified.
The WPIC provides continuous education and makes all course updates available for certified students which helps us, wedding planners, stay up to date with current information and trends.
2. High Standards of Ethics
Certified wedding planners through The Wedding Planners Institute of Canada must abide by the Code of Ethics or they can be stripped of their Certification and disbarred from the WPIC Alumni Association.
WPIC Code of Ethics
- We do not accept kickbacks (money for referrals) from vendors. Vendors must know that the clients are the recipients of any discounts given.
- We treat each client fairly, and we will be honest and upfront in the representation of our clients.
- We uphold our ethics. We will not take or attempt to take clients from, or discredit, other vendors with gossip or slander.
- Every client will receive a detailed contract for Wedding Day Direction, Destination or Full Wedding Coordination services.
- We will provide all services agreed upon in the contract that must be signed by both the client and Coordinator at the commencement of service.
- We believe in continuous education, networking and training within the Wedding Industry.
- Our pricing is upfront.
- We will make every effort to return calls and emails in a timely manner. (Within 24 hours)
- We always endeavor to benefit our client and not ourselves. Vendors are suggested on merit, in the best interests of the client, not ourselves or the vendor suggested.
- We cannot guarantee your wedding will be perfect, but we can guarantee we will do everything within our power to make sure it is as close to perfection as it can be.
3. Vendor Connections
Through our experience and network, we know reliable (and some who are also WPIC certified) professionals, venues, florists, caterers, rental companies, photographers, videographers, transportation companies, officiants, DJs, bands, and many other vendors.
This knowledge will save couples time and/or money when looking for the right venue or vendor.
We will only recommend vendors based on their merit and on your expectations
4. WPIC Certified Team
When hiring a wedding planner, you are not only hiring a WPIC Certified lead planner but also the assistant(s) – on-the-day of the wedding- will also be WPIC Certified to provide you the best coordination services on your wedding day.
Additionally, if for any reason, your WPIC Certified Planner is not able to make it to your wedding to lead on your wedding day, any other WPIC Certified Wedding Coordinator will be happy to take on these responsibilities at no extra cost to you. All timelines, checklists, emergency contacts, and wedding-day itinerary will be forwarded to the new planner who, with the same training, will be able to take over and coordinate on your wedding day.
We all hope it doesn’t come to that, but worst-case scenario, you have a team of professionals to back you up!
5. Network Connections
The WPIC has been working for years with professionals in the wedding industry which has its perks.
When struggling to find a specific vendor, product, venue, etc. we can reach out to our network and ask for feedback about their experiences and/or where to find a specific product or recommendations about a specific vendor – which can be useful, especially when planning a wedding from a distance –
WPIC Certified Planner can get better pricing from some businesses, added benefits, and extra care and love from wedding professionals of all types.
6. Knowledge of International Markets
Most destination wedding planners have been and continue to visit venues and meet with local vendors. This is the best way to check out wedding venues and meet the team of professionals who will be handling your destination wedding needs. Last summer, Champagne and Macarons Events visited venues and met with vendors in the South of France and in Paris and provided a list of our favorite venues in our blog post Top 7 Destination Wedding Venues in France. We can also give you some tips to make the best out of your trip. For example, by visiting wineries in the area or sightseeing and tasting local foods.
7. A Dedicated Coordinator
A venue coordinator will ensure the venue’s rules and protocols are being followed. They will provide advice in terms of layout, staff, and food options. They can make sure the timeline is
respected. They will make recommendations based on their products and services and only recommend partnered vendors.
As your dedicated WPIC Wedding Coordinator, we are there for YOU and we will solely recommend vendors based on their merit and your expectations. We will guide and support you throughout the months leading up to your wedding day, ensuring that the vendors deliver what you paid for, your guests are taken care of, and that no small detail is missed.
8. Emergency Kit
We will always be carrying an emergency kit on your wedding day. You wonder why?
It’s simple if the bride gets a stain on her dress, we know how to remove it (at least we will try reducing the damage for the photos). If you need stitches (this happens a lot!), we will always carry a needle and thread. We will also be carrying most of the following items: hairpins, nail glue, nail file, eyelash glue, toothbrush & toothpaste, safety pins, band-aids, deodorant, tissues, wet wipes, lint brush, hand sanitizer and masks, feminine hygiene products, tape, batteries, and many other items.
I hope this post helped you better understand how WPIC planners and coordinators are one-of-a-kind trained professionals with high standards of ethics who will lean over backward to make your special day, as perfect and memorable as possible.
Karine Copur, WPICC has a WPIC certification of Wedding Coordinator as well as Destination Wedding Coordinator certification from The Wedding Planners Institute of Canada. Karine has also a BA in Marketing from the European Federation of Schools and a Certificate in Marketing from UCLA.