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July 26th, 2017 | 0 COMMENTS
The only thing better than a summertime party in Victoria? A summertime party in Victoria with WoW - especially when our members go home with new referrals! Thanks to a great team of Showcase Sponsors, our July event was so much fun - the perfect break for our busy wedding season.
First up, we have to thank our generous hosts - L.A. Limousines & Transportation Services. As you can see, the views were just amazing, and L.A. Limousines could not have been more accommodating. Serendipitously, one of their drivers was once a chef at WoW Member Inn at Laurel Point (hosts for our August event!), so we were treated to delish, Hawaiian-inspired treats, too.
And not only did L.A. Limousines provide the venue and food... they also helped us ride in style, of course! They generously offered pickup and drop-off to everyone who joined us (with yummy drinks for the ride!!). It was a lovely way to see first hand what this highly respected local company has to offer - so that we can know exactly what they're all about when referring them to future couples!
Our guests who chose to use this opportunity say it was fabulous to get to relax and enjoy themselves as they were chauffeured in style.
Next up, we have to thank Victoria Event Services/Joe the Bartender for the tasty summer drinks and mixology session. This family-owned and -operated company provides premium special event services, including a wide range of bar-tending experiences, catering and event planning. Everyone loves a Mixology lesson, but as wedding industry professionals we found ours particularly enlightening, as our hosts explored the many benefits of having a signature drink at weddings. This growing trend is certainly one we can get behind!
A big thank you to our sponsors Black & White Event Rentals for providing the perfect backdrop for our event. Black & White Event Rentals is a fantastic source on Vancouver Island for beautiful weddings and event tent rentals, tables, chairs, dishes and glassware. For this event they provided the beautiful white tent, plus attractive tables and chairs, too.
Dave Willie of Black & White Event Rentals made a point to remind us that after 25 years in business, what his company finds really works is networking and building relationships. In fact, Dave has now made 'tons' of referrals to new WoW members VIP Mobile Restrooms, after experiencing them through WoW!
Speaking of VIP Mobile Restrooms, they also set up to showcase their amazing restrooms. It was exciting to try out this wonderful new option for events in Victoria. Their facilities made us feel like we were inside an upscale house, not outside! And we learned that they gave a large selection of luxury restroom trailer rentals serving Vancouver Island, Victoria, Nanaimo, Courtenay and the Okanagan, Kelowna, Vernon, Penticton and surrounding communities. Their mission is to provide a refined solution to the regular porta potty rental, for an array of special events. We now can fully attest that this refined solution is indeed a delightful one!
And what's a summer party without some fun lawn games? Thanks to our Showcase Sponsor Party Mood, we had super fun games plus beautiful on-point decor. Party Mood's Anne Pollock is a Certified International Wedding and Event Planner and Accredited Event Designer, and she regularly travels to national and international conferences to keep her skills and know-how continually up-to-date. It clearly shows in her beautiful events!
We also have to give a very big shout-out and many many thanks to WoW Board Member Hardip Johal from Magical Moments Decorating, who was instrumental in helping setup and organize the event, and also helped decorate it so beautifully.
And finally, we have Hattie Root Photography to thank once again for these beautiful photos. Hattie is truly an expert in her field, which includes wedding and family photography. She says she has an 'honest love for realism,' and we love the light, refreshing take she provides. She captured our evening so beautifully, like she always does.
For this event, we decided to tackle destination weddings for the first time. We were delighted to have WoW member Allan Nichols of The Fairmont Empress talk about this growing trend. Since so many out-of-town brides and grooms choose The Fairmont Empress, we thought he'd be the perfect speaker - and we were right!
Alan spoke about how to market to out-of-town couples, with lots of great tips for booking more weddings. For example, he highly suggested making connections with wedding planners in other cities, as well as attending out-of-city wedding shows. Hattie Root also spoke to the importance of using social media (with over 19,000 followers on Instagram, she certainly knows what she's talking about!). We definitely left inspired to try some new tricks!
Like always, we had a fun giveaway at the end of our evening - a photoshoot with Hattie Root Photography. Congrats to our newest member Melissa from Designer Weddings & Special Occasions for the big win - be sure to let us see the results! And of course we all went home with a few goodies from our sponsors.
So thank you again to our generous sponsors: L.A. Limousines & Transportation Services, Victoria Event Services, Black & White Event Rentals, Party Mood, VIP Mobile Restrooms, and Hattie Root Photography!
Our Next Event
This August, we're heading back to the Inn at Laurel Point, for a fun morning dedicated to the 'shop local' trend. Get ready to explore finding local vendors and making connections, and how to encourage couples to choose local, too. To learn more and RSVP, please see here, and we'll see you on August 15!
June 27th, 2017 | 0 COMMENTS
Thanks to an amazing team of Showcase Sponsors, our June event was the perfect way for busy wedding vendors to brush up on wedding trends. Educating our members is one of our key mandates here at WoW, and we love events with a key educational focus - so important for hustling entrepreneurs like us!
The first key to a great event is a great venue, and this June our Showcase Sponsors The Gardens at HCP definitely fit the bill. The Gardens at HCP is such a unique venue, and we always love our time here. A teaching garden located just twelve kilometers north of Downtown Victoria, The Gardens are beautiful all year round. Inspirational, educational, and engaging, it's the perfect venue for groups like ours. And their modern Couvelier Pavilion includes audio-visual equipment, tables, tablecloths, chairs and more – all set in an inviting post and beam building with views into the Gardens. It's perfect for the weddings they offer.
We started our morning with a fun scavenger hunt that let us explore The Gardens even more. It was a great team building activity that let members work one on one, helping to foster even better connections and relationships ... and we'll always take an extra opportunity to tour this beloved Victoria institution!
Of course networking on empty stomachs just wouldn't do - so we also have to thank Truffles Catering for partnering with the Gardens to keep our tummies full and happy. Truffles Catering has been serving and delighting guests for over 22 years, and we were thrilled to have this WoW Member once again add their special touch to our event.
The second key to a great event is a world-class speaker to lead our creative workshops, and once again, our Showcase Sponsors stepped up to the plate. Thanks to Party Mood's Anne Pollock, we were treated to a super-illuminating presentation about current wedding trends. Anne is Certified International Wedding and Event Planner and Accredited Event Designer, and she regularly travels to national and international conferences to keep her skills and know-how continually up-to-date.
Anne used her fresh insight, gleaned from networking with the top wedding professionals in both Canada and the US, as well as her own multifaceted experience, to provide an information-packed seminar that's going to keep our members on trend and impressing clients all season long. We always love Anne's enthusiasm and passion for weddings, which was clearly on display not just in the decor for the event, but in her stunning presentation visuals as well. To learn a bit more about current wedding trends, don't miss Party Mood's 2017 Wedding Trend Forecast.
Anne and her team also provided all the stunning decor, working with popular WoW Member Browns the Florist as well. With 4 locations to serve happy customers on Vancouver Island, Brown's the Florist is an award-winning company that puts an extraordinary amount of both talent and hard work into their arrangements - as you can see.
And of course we also have to thank Showcase Sponsor Spark & Whimsy Photography for these lovely photos. Juliana Wigmore captured our morning so beautifully, like she always does. Juliana is passionate about her work, and an expert at making her subjects feel relaxed - and it shows in her gorgeous work. Remember that along with weddings, she also shoots pregnancy, moms and babies - and trust us, her portraits are always gorgeous.
We rounded out our morning by giving all our guests a chance to take the floor and speak about their businesses, and like always we had some fun giveaways. We all went home with two free passes to The Gardens at HCP, and lucky Raj of Ra Photography won membership to the gardens for a year. Overall, it was great event, and a great respite from the busy summer wedding season. And we're expecting our next event, coming up July 11, to be equally fun and illuminating. We'll be exploring destination weddings, and even providing first-class transportation to and from the event courtesy of L.A. Limousines & Transportation Services. It's another great opportunity for wedding vendors in Victoria to network and grow their businesses - learn more here and join us!
May 22nd, 2017 | 0 COMMENTS
This May, WoW embraced the global 'Diner en Blanc' phenomenon with our classic WoW-spin and, thanks to our great showcase sponsors and speakers, we had a fabulous evening at the newly renovated Union Club of British Columbia. Keep reading to learn more.
Have you heard of 'Diner en Blanc,' the worldwide event spanning six continents? People flash-gather in posh, public spaces to set up a temporary, chic dining area with one rule: everyone dresses formally in white, and comes ready to enjoy quality food and quality company. Thanks to some clever brainstorming from members back at our last event at the Ambrosia Conference & Event Centre, we decided 'Diner en Blanc' needed to be 'WoWed.' Our hosts The Union Club of BC and our decor sponsor Party Mood were all too happy to oblige!
Founded in 1879, the Union Club of British Columbia is a landmark institution in the heart of downtown Victoria - and we were thrilled to have them host our May event. Newly renovated, we came expecting excellent cuisine, flawless service and a grand welcome from this beautiful, upscale venue - and boy, did they deliver. Our hosts welcomed us with complimentary prosecco (yum) and filled our bellies with a charcuterie board (double yum). The Union Club prides itself on the superior, high quality of its venue, catering and service. We can now attest that this is absolutely true!
This was our first time heading to the Union Club - so it was a lovely opportunity for our wedding professionals to see this popular venue first hand, meet the owners, and stay 'in the know' about the hottest offerings in the Victoria events market. It was fun to see the beautiful renovations and imagine how stunning weddings and events would be here. Learn more about what the Union Club offers here.
Of course, no matter how pretty the venue, a theme like 'WoW en Blanc' needs specially crafted decor - and for specially crafted decor there is none better than WoW member and Showcase Sponsor Anne Pollock of Party Mood. Party Mood has been designing and delivering professional events since 2011. Anne is an expert in the wedding and events industry, contributing as a guest blogger, styling for magazine inspiration shoots, speaking to the wedding industry on trends, and is a member of the Vancouver Island Wedding Awards planning committee.
And, as you can see, Anne also makes beautiful events! We love how she took our 'all-white' theme and created a space that was fun, fresh, and inviting. Anne says that she loves the little details and atmosphere of events, and it shows. Learn more about Party Mood here.
The only way to get a true feel for our events is through our brilliant WoW photographers. And thankfully, this month Raj Fontana of Ra Photography Studios worked her magic, providing all the beautiful photos you see in this post.
When asked what makes her business unique, Raj wrote, "I believe that it is not what you do but how you do it, and staying true to what you love; a mantra that I live by. Families coming together, the crisp drama of a perfect dress, that split second as a loving expression breaks across the face of a new husband - that’s why I am a wedding photographer. Its my job and my privilege to capture those sublime moments and memories . I limit myself to only 20 weddings a year in order to provide the quality, attention to detail and individualized attention all my clients demand and deserve." Read Raj's whole interview here, and find out more about her comprehensive photography services here.
Also, we are pleased to announce that Raj is very generously offering all WoW members 3 headshots for just $75! This is the perfect opportunity to get new pictures that speak to your brand. Call Raj at 778-676-2910 to learn more and book your appointment.
The icing on the cake for WoW en Blac was Amanda Tarling, Wedding Officiant, who blew us away with an illuminating workshop on global wedding trends throughout history - and how they affect us still today. Amanda used her extensive knowledge to speak about wedding customs, traditions and superstitions, making for a fun interactive game that got great feedback.
Amanda has officiated over 100 weddings and over 100 other ceremonies, and she first 'WoWed' us as the officiant for last year's mock-gay wedding. She is also very active in Victoria's LGBTQ2 community. She says that "I worked with my first LGBTQ couple in 2003 (the year it had become legal to be married in BC) when I was training to become a Lay Chaplain. I was appalled, the person mentoring me gave the couple a wedding book written for heterosexual couples and said “just make the pronoun changes in your heads”. From that moment on I have striven for equal rights of all couples getting married." Learn more about Amanda's services here.
And finally, at WoW en Blanc, we were also thrilled to raise a toast to our WoW Community - because we just donated $5500 to the BC Cancer Foundation, all raised at our recent WoW Wedding & Fashion Show! Throughout the years, we have been able to donate over $10,000 to this important local group. 'Giving Back' is one of our WoW tenets, and we're so happy that our members take it as seriously as we do.
So thank you again to our fabulous sponsors, and to all our members who came decked out in white and ready to learn, network and celebrate. We're looking forward to our next event, coming up June 13 at The Gardens at HCP. We're going to be networking and focusing on all the current and upcoming wedding trends we need to know to keep our services relevant - definitely something you don't want to miss! To learn more or RSVP, please see here, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. And see you in 'the gardens' soon!
April 24th, 2017 | 0 COMMENTS
Our April event at Zambri's was the best of the old and the new. New members, Zambri's wowed us with their beautiful space and delicious offerings - and delighted us with a new venue to explore. And with a little 'Shameless Promotion,' a WoW classic, members got to easily promote their businesses and connect with colleagues. It was a fun morning that left us even more excited for the wedding season to come!
Offering Italian soul food since 1999, Zambri's has quickly become one of Victoria's best restaurants. With incredibly well prepared Italian food and efficient service, word of mouth has spread - so much so that the eatery has gained highly acclaimed industry recognition, such as GOLD Best Casual Italian Restaurant Vancouver Magazine and Victoria Chef Of the Year. James Barber has called it the “Nicest little Italian restaurant in BC. Probably in Canada. Terrific food.”
While exploring their stunning space, we also learned that Zambri's can cater to private events of any size. You can choose their private room, the Sala, which is equipped with a 65″ screen with HDMI cable to connect your laptop for presentations or the Atrium, which has become a favourite for celebratory and casual dinners. Or choose both as they connect to create one stunning space! Learn more about weddings and events and Zambri's here.
Our hosts treated us to pizza and prosecco - and it was to die for! And because they also generously gave all our guests a $10 gift card, I'm sure they can be expecting lots of hungry WoW members stopping in soon!
Hattie Root Photography
The only way to get a true feel for our events is through our brilliant WoW photographers. And thankfully, this month Hattie Root Photography worked her magic, providing all the beautiful photos you see in this post. Hattie is truly an expert in her field, which includes wedding and family photography. She says she has an 'honest love for realism,' and we love the light, refreshing take she provides. She captured our morning at Zambri's so beautifully.
Based in Victoria, British Columbia, Hattie travels far and wide to photograph life's beautiful moments. You can see more of her beautiful work from our WoW Wedding Show, where her team very generously donated hours of time to help pull it off.
Hattie Root Photography offers multiple wedding packages, as well as engagement shoots, head shots and family portraits. All come highly recommended! Learn more about her offerings here.
A Little Shameless Promotion
What's a WoW event without a creative workshop that gets us up out of our seats, making invaluable connections and having fun to boot? This month we opted for a little 'shameless promotion,' giving each guest a chance to promote their businesses. Everyone put their fears of public speaking aside and took the floor, talking about their business and their business needs.
Thank You ... .And Wait Til You Hear About Our Next Event!
Thank you again to our Showcase Sponsors for making such a great event. Remember that Showcase Sponsorship is a key tenet of WoW. Sponsors get to share their expertise and offerings with dozens of wedding industry professionals, letting us see first hand exactly why we should refer them. It also gives Members the opportunity to work with new vendors or venues in a professional setting, building key relationships. And seeing how your fellow Sponsors work with their brides can help you make better referrals. Yes, it's fun for us to sample from the city's finest, but it's also a critical step in the networking process.
Congratulations to Amanda Tarling, who won a 'Wine & Dinner' gift certificate from our very generous hosts (we see a date night in your future!). Amanda is also currently prepping for her big 'History of Wedding Traditions' seminar, that she'll be presenting at our May event.
And ... have you heard about our May event? It's time for WoW to put our spin on one of the biggest event trends around. WoW en Blanc is HERE, and all taking place at a hip, newly renovated downtown location.
'Diner en Blanc,' is a worldwide event spanning six continents. People flash-gather in posh, public spaces to set up a temporary, chic dining area with one rule: everyone dresses formally in white, and comes ready to enjoy quality food and quality company.
So get ready for our legendary WoW-spin ... our next event is WoW en Blanc! Come experience this new event trend for yourself, and enjoy an interactive creative workshop from WoW Member and Wedding Officiant Amanda Tarling.
We know this is going to be a fun night, and the perfect opportunity to get in some invaluable networking before the busy wedding season kicks in. That's why we're inviting all our members to bring a FREE GUEST.
And for a limited time, non-members can purchase tickets for just $10. So we hope to see you on May 9!
April 11th, 2017 | 0 COMMENTS
WoW - we did it! Our second annual WoW Wedding & Fashion Show at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort was a big success!
Thank you to all the vendors and WoW members who worked so hard to pull off another fantastic event, and thanks to the beautiful brides and their guests who joined us to help raise funds for the BC Cancer Foundation.
We exceeded our fundraising goals, and we're thrilled to now be able to donate $5500 to this great, local organization!
In March 2017, WoW members once again came together to create something truly special. Our second annual WoW Wedding & Fashion Show was a big, fun night, exceeding our fundraising expectations and showing Victoria's brides what happens when the city's best wedding and events companies come together to truly 'WoW.' Dozens of top vendors joined us, manning fun, interactive tables, raising money for charity, and meeting lots of beautiful brides and grooms in the process. It was a fabulous night for some truly fabulous people!
We were lucky to have our wedding show hosted by the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort, a premier venue for today's bride. The Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe has lots and lots to offer brides and grooms in Victoria. Namely, that means 14 wedding reception venues that combine for almost 15,000 square feet of flexible event space, a selection of generous group packages, and more. And as we were lucky enough to see, many of their event venues feature versatile indoor-outdoor space, as well as breathtaking waterfront views. Learn more about wedding and events options at the Delta Victoria Ocean Point here.
The Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort also catered the event and welcomed our guests with drinks that tasted as good as they looked.
So without further a-do, here's what it looks like when Victoria's wedding community 'WoWs'!
The Silent Auction
Thanks to generous donations from vendors, our Silent Auction offered brides and grooms a wide assortment of wedding services and more to bid on. The Silent Auction was our main fundraiser, helping us raise $5500 for the BC Cancer Foundation!!
The Fashion Show
Thanks to the teamwork from the city's top designers and beauty-makers, our 2018 Wedding Trends Fashion Show was the highlight of our evening. With a big crowd, fun music and a bevy of beautiful people modelling beautiful looks, our WoW runway was the place to be.
Thank you to Elise Tonn Designs, M&M Tailoring & Alterations, North of Hadrians, Shades of White, Blush Bridal Boutique, Tres Chic Bridal Boutique Pachulah, The Bay and Outlooks for Men for providing captivating looks for our models. Brown's the Florist also provided all our beautiful bouquets and florals (no wonder they all looked so good!).
And thank you to Sharon Rai Hair & Makeup Artistry for styling all the models and showing us how great national award-winning bridal makeup can be! And to Artist Salon as well, for the beautiful hair styles showcased!
We'd like to once again extend our biggest thanks to the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort for providing the perfect space for our wedding show, and for catering and treating our guests to that welcome drink. Thanks also to Magical Moments Decorating for decorating our Fashion Runway and Registration area - it was all beautiful, as you can see!
Thank you (thank you, thank you!) to the team at Hattie Root Photography including Marlboro Wang, Veronique Gagnon and Jennifer Callioux for all the beautiful photos you see here. See more photos on our Facebook page!
Thank you also to Sharon Rai, owner and Master Stylist of Sharon Rai Hair & Makeup Artistry. Specializing in hairstyling, makeup artistry and styling, Sharon has over 15 awards under her belt, including Canadian Hairstylist of the Year, Canadian Makeup Artist of the year and Entrepreneur of the Year. As our Founder and Director (and new mom with two children under 5 at home!), she worked tirelessly to pull off our exceptional second public event, and we can't wait for the next!
And of course we must also thank Kally Khaira, our Director of Member Relations, for the time she put in during and after the event. Kally even enlisted her children to help run the event smoothly - the definition of team work!
We're also grateful to the many models who also volunteered their time, helping to raise money for a great cause.
Finally, a few of our members went above-and-beyond, volunteering weeks and weeks of their time.
Specifically, we'd like to give a HUGE thank you to Board Member Hardip Johal for her countless
hours she put in before, during and after the event. Magical Moments Decorating, is a successful
company providing wedding planning, decorating, and more. You can see some of their beautiful
work here, from when they were Showcase Sponsors at our First Anniversary.Knowing that every
little girl dreams of a unique and wonderful wedding day, Magical Moments Decorating works tirelessly
to make that special day a reality.
Thanks also to Board Member Anita Voorsluys, who is the Spa Sales Manager at the popular
Willow Stream Spa.Inside the Fairmont Empress, the Willow Stream Spa is relaxing, sensorial
and social, coupling the Fairmont's unique brand of luxury and outstanding service with an authentic
spa experience. To see inside the spa and get a glimpse of their exceptional offerings, see here.
Our newest, Board Member Hattie Root of Hattie Root Photography also helped SO much with lots of behind-the-scenes work - spending countless hours helping to make the event run smooth. Based in Victoria, British Columbia, Hattie travels far and wide to photograph life's beautiful moments. Learn more about her services here.
And WoW Member Nicole Bens of Victoria Event Services was a big help in organizing and running our registration table. Together with Joe the Bartender, Victoria Event Services can service all your party of event needs, with over 40 years of experience. Learn more here.
And finally, our biggest thank you goes out to all the amazing vendors who manned their beautiful tables, donated to our silent auction and giveaways, promoted the event on their own social media, and helped keep things running smoothly all night long. We all know it takes a village to pull off a big event, and our WoW village is amazing.
Thank You to the Following WoW Members:
Amanda Tarling Wedding Officiant
Black & White Event Rentals
Browns the Florist
Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort
Elise Tonn Designs
The Fairmont Empress
Gala-Van Party Shop
Hattie Root Photography
Inn at Laurel Point
L.A. Limousines & Transportation Services
M&M Tailoring & Alterations
Magical Moments Decorating
Ohh La La Cupcakes
Olympic View Golf Club
Pedersen's Event Rentals
Sharon Rai Hair & Makeup Artistry
Spark & Whimsy Photography
The Union Club of BC
Victoria Event Services
The Wedding Experts
Willow Stream Spa
Thank You to the Following Vendors:
Andrea Anderson Photography
Black Rock Oceanfront Resort
Blush Bridal Boutique
Cakes by Taryn
Dr. Amarjot Sajan
North of Hadrians
Outlooks for Men
Real Weddings Magazine
Shades of White
St. Ann's Academy
Today's Bride Magazine
Tres Chic Bridal Boutique
The Wedding Ring
Prepare to be WoWed!
So what exactly is WoW, anyway? We're a networking alliance of Victoria's best wedding service providers. We meet once a month, to learn from each other, and ensure that we're meeting our goals for providing the best possible services to our brides and grooms. Founded by Sharon Rai of Sharon Rai Hair & Makeup Artistry (recent winner of the Greater Victoria Young Entrepreneur, and Canadian Makeup Artistry of the Year & Canadian Hairstylist of the Year at the Canadian Wedding Industry Awards), we originally were a women-focused group (hence our name: 'Women of Weddings,' or 'WoW'). As we've grown, we've expanded our mandate to include all wedding vendors, male or female, that meet our criteria for excellence.
Specifically, all WoW members commit to our Vow to WoW:
1. We create the ultimate bridal experience by establishing and sustaining the highest standards in products and services.
2. We support and refer each other's businesses so that we may all flourish.
3. We inspire one another by sharing our creative ideas and best practices.
4. We give back to our community.
5. We celebrate our niche industry by coming together to network, learn, showcase and share.
Look for the WoW logo as you plan your wedding, to ensure you're getting the city's best!