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June 13th, 2018 | 0 COMMENTS
Our WoW Community looked absolutely stunning dressed up in floral garden party attire! The Gardens at HCP assist many couples in saying "I do" in a breathtaking nature setting. It was incredible to experience this venue and celebrate the beginning of summer - the busy season for our industry! We kicked off the event with a glass of Rosé in the Courtyard of the Gardens while enjoying gourmet cheese platters and appetizers by Truffles Catering. We were grateful to have such an excellent speaker, Natasha Crawford, from Brown's the Florist, sharing the history of Brown's and giving us an inside look into the floral industry in Victoria. WoW is all about being educated on our community and building relationships with established vendors. This June we had the pleasure of learning about the floral industry and we are now leading in to our "WoW Summer of Social Media"!
The Courtyard was beautifully set up with shades of pink pillows, filled with several different types of locally sourced Rosé! With the summer emerging, the floral industry is booming for wedding season. We were educated on the complexity that goes in to making arrangements and the different floral providers in our city. For over 100 years Brown's has been delivering articulately designed flowers to loved ones. Her business has 30 members on it's design team, recently having designed florals for the Royals on their Canadian tour, Kate and Harry!
The floral industry in Victoria is small when it comes to ethical and quality florists. In the last fifteen years, she has seen nine local florist businesses close down due to large scale retailers. To our surprise, we were informed that when it comes to large corporations, child labouring is involved in the picking of imported flowers. Brown's makes it a goal of theres to use at least 75% local suppliers, many of which grow right here on the island, and they only import from Fair Trade Farms.
Natasha explained to us that the prices of flowers fluctuate every day depending on the market and bidding, much like stocks. She spoke of the long nights fuelled with coffee to finish large wedding bouquets and how they never say no to a bride! Natasha said Brown's involvement in wedding has increased heavily over the last five years due to the decrease in local florists. She was incredibly engaging and entertaining explaining the antics of discretion in the floral industry when it comes to Valentine's Day!
We are so lucky we had the opportunity to learn from her wealth of knowledge. Following Natasha's talk, we refilled our glasses of Rosé and snacked on appetizers and dessert platters. Each guest had put a business card in the draw - it was time for the giveaway! Brown's the Florist donated 3 lovely orchids and the Gardens at HCP offered a free year membership. Our lucky winners were, Laura from Laura Lavender Calligraphy, Jay Smith from the English Inn and Norma Bogart from Bogart Wedding Proposals!
Megan Stacey, the Events Coordinator at the Gardens at HCP, gathered the WoW Community for a tour of the Gardens. The Gardens offers a variety of ceremony and reception spaces. The Couvelier Pavillion is a beautiful reception space that comfortably holds 110 guests, with natural light and stunning architecture. The Pavilion opens onto the Courtyard where there is a beautiful pond with a fountain overlooking the Rose Garden.
The first stop on our tour was a stunning ceremony site, this circular stone walkway holds up to 150 guests and overlooks the Gardens. We took a walk over the bridge, where many proposals take place, through the Bonsai Garden back to the Courtyard. Each WoW Member and guest in attendance received a free pass to the Garden's to return and explore further another day! We had an incredible time sipping Rosé, learning about the floral industry and touring such a stunning wedding venue!
Thank you to Truffles Catering, Ra Photography, the Garden's at HCP and Brown's the Florist for coming together and making our June Event a huge success! Please join us at our July event, "Let's Get Social" with a workshop by CEO of Swell Social, Connor Pickard, focusing on social media marketing strategies to target the wedding industry. Click HERE to RSVP!
May 15th, 2018 | 0 COMMENTS
Cheers to another amazing event to kick off the summer! Our WoW Community gathered for our May Event, Wine O'Clock, to ride out in style on a LA Limousines wine tour, check out there other business luxury wine tours they offer! We travelled to Church & State Winery and Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse to familiarize ourselves with local wines and wedding venues. Check out our blog below with a recap from guest speaker, Michele Hamilton from Think Local Victoria and moments captured by Hattie Root Photography.
We were grateful to have Michele Hamilton attend our wine tour to educate us on the power of local businesses on our limousine ride to the vineyard! Michele informed us their collaborative consists of over 190 local businesses in Victoria. Her role is to find our what businesses are looking for, connect them with other vendors and develop the best avenues of promotion.
In May 2012 three local businesses in Victoria came together – Ocean River Sports, Robinsons Outdoors and Frontrunners to start “Shop Local First” (now known as Think Local Victoria). The team started by gathering 10 local vendors, extending invitations to other businesses and then hosting a block party. Much like WoW, Think Local Victoria is based on promoting the advantages of shopping with local businesses and networking.
Michele announced they have launched a Think Local App with pinned locations and points that can be collected if you are within range, even if you’re not shopping! These points can be redeemed at other local business locations. Pulling the community together through our smartphones is an excellent way to shift spending from corporate to local.
Michele informed us that 2 to 3 times the amount of money stays within our economy when we shop local. She explained to us that the easiest way to go about making a shift to local shopping is by using the 10% Rule: shifting 10% of your spending, whether it’s gifts, clothing or groceries, to local businesses is the easiest way to start a movement.
We arrived at Church and State Winery’s beautiful venue, passing the vineyard as we made our way in. Jenny Stuart, the Events Manager at Church and State Winery welcomed our group. Our WoW Community sat down to enjoy tastings of crisp white wines and deep reds in the tasting room, one of the indoor venues available to brides!
Jenny was able to educate us on the venue’s particular spots for hosting weddings and announced there is a unique new banquet room launching soon in the cellar area! There two stunning outdoor ceremony sites and one indoor site offer stunning views of the vineyard surrounded by wilderness. We had a lovely time getting to know the locations our brides talk about, and tasting our Island’s finest wines.
Our sponsor for Wine O'Clock, Hattie, from Hattie Root Photography offered complimentary head shots for our draw prize. Our lucky winner was WoW Member, Cassandra Agate, from the Delta Hotels. Thank you Hattie for capturing these precious moments and offering such a useful gift!
We returned to the limousine to travel to Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse where we were greeted with cider and kicked off our introduction with a tour of the Farm! It was amazing to see “The Forest” location, a small clearing within the wilderness with historic tree roots and benches, where wedding ceremonies take place all year long. We discussed the different ways in which the venue is set up and decorated, as well as local caterers, like WoW Member, Truffles Catering, that Sea Cider prefers to work with. The events manager at Sea Cider, Jessica Moffatt, informed us that the venue has weddings booked back-to-back every weekend until September!
Continuing the tour, the Sea Cider team showed us to the tent where receptions are held and walked us around the stunning vineyard! We headed back to the beautiful white barn for more cider tastings with a view of the ocean. Gathering with other professionals in the wedding industry and learning about our island's most popular venues while tasting local wines gave us a wealth of knowledge to pass on to our clients.
We had a blast on our Wine O’Clock tour – thank you to Truffles Catering for providing delicious macarons and to LA Limousines for making this event possible! Our next event, "Rosé in the Roses" will take place at the Gardens at HCP June 12th from 5pm-7pm. Come network with Victoria's finest wedding professionals in a garden setting sipping on a glass of Rosé - the perfect summer evening!
May 3rd, 2018 | 0 COMMENTS
Couples may have different ideas of locations to have their wedding, but local vendors can be found regardless. Brides magazine says the biggest factor influencing decision of a destination vs. local wedding is the amount of desired guests that are able to attend. Hometowns might be the traditional choice when choosing a wedding location, but XO Group states 1 in 4 couples plan a destination wedding.
Local vendors must be knowledgable about wedding venue locations. That can help couples avoid having to give directions, discuss venue protocols, and handle other tasks that must be worked out with non-local vendors. For example, local photographers who are familiar with the venue will know the best places to take shots.
Individuals who are concerned about the carbon footprint of their wedding will find local vendors to be a more environmentally friendly option. Local vendors are more likely to source their materials from other local businesses, reducing their carbon footprints along the way. For example, local caterers may rely on local farmers for their foods, affording couples the chance to host an eco-friendly wedding.
Throughout the planning process, local vendors are available to the the clients more-readily for meetings, trials, appointments and other planning details. The accessibility of a vendor is vital, as it is a stressful time and clients need to be able to contact their vendors easily.
Working with local vendors often translates into getting more personalized service and attention than mass retailers can not provide. Local vendors who are knowledgable about their city will be able to provide new brides with Victoria's best wedding venues and can recommend other WoW Members for different services!
Couples who travel for their weddings and engage with local vendors will not have to travel with their wedding decor. Using local vendors eliminates the need to bring along dresses, flowers, decorative items, etc. Plus, couples needn't pay to transport and house vendors brought along from home.
April 11th, 2018 | 0 COMMENTS
Destination YYJ was another successful event, where our vendors were able to dine, get educated, and build relationships that foster growth of our businesses! We had an amazing time - kicking off the morning with, coffee, wine, gourmet appetizers and a tier of cakes prepared by the Empress Chef's. Thank you to the Fairmont Empress for offering their newly renovated space, the Shaughnessy Ballroom, complete with decadent pastries and beautiful centrepieces by Decorate Victoria. We were inspired having innovative members in the wedding industry networking, mingling and discussing the pressure of the upcoming summer season. Check out the revision of our Q&A panel below with the ladies from Perfectly Posh Events and stunning photographs captured by Ra Photography!
Our guest speakers travelled to the island for the first time, from Portland and Seattle to spend the weekend in Victoria exploring our city and all it's beautiful vendors! The ladies from Perfectly Posh Events toured around Victoria in style with LA Limousines, visiting beaches, venues, and getting to know Victoria as a destination wedding location. Holly, Bridget, Danae, Townley were incredibly sweet, approachable and dedicated! We are so lucky we had the opportunity to learn about what clients look for when planning a destination wedding.
We had an excellent panel discussion between the four guests and our WoW Members, led by Allan, Catering Sales Manager at the Fairmont Empress. The WoW Community had over ten questions prepared, which branched off in to many different discussions. We broke down why Victoria is a popular destination spot, how to attract clients to us and what kind of clientele are dreaming of this experience. The Perfectly Posh Events team was detailed and informative with all their answers, giving ideas on promotion of how vendors in Victoria can market their businesses for destination weddings.
Our first myth to debunk was stumbling blocks clients approach when booking a destination wedding. Holly informed us, many people coming from the US have fallen in love with the idea of a wedding in the Pacific Northwest. Townley explained that borders, travelling and the idea of international airports can sometimes worry clients. With accessible transportation offered by businesses like Clipper Vacations, a ferry running from downtown Seattle to downtown Victoria, clients will learn their travel plans can be simpler and easier than they thought. Also, educating brides on the exchange rate and how it can affect the total wedding budget, which then will save funds adds to the attraction. Bridget stated the charm of the island, with all it's history and castles makes it a perfect spot for romantic types.
A key factor the ladies stressed is when couples have a destination wedding planned, it is not only a ceremony and reception but a whole weekend of events, from patio brunches to beach visits. When they were exploring Victoria, the ladies said the cobblestone alleyways, boutique shops and Victorian style buildings, made Victoria an exceptional attraction. Couples in their mid to late 20's are particularly interested in creating this experience for their guests. The walkability of Victoria combined with stunning ocean views makes it an ideal location to host a weekend of experiences.
Our WoW Members presented the question, "So how do we go about promoting Victoria as the perfect destination wedding spot?". Bridget suggested that working alongside the WoW Community by hosting a styled shoot is the perfect way to showcases our Victoria-based vendors. If the clients have a vision, one that is placed in front of them, they will want to recreate it for their own special day and know there are a diverse team of wedding vendors available to them. One point the ladies stressed is that Instagram is a powerful tool for brides nowadays, even more popular than Pinterest, and one clients often contact them through. Saying that, please follow us on our Instagram page @vicwow
We are extremely grateful our WoW Members had the chance to build this relationship with the Perfectly Posh Events team. Our guest speakers from Seattle said they were particularly impressed with how cohesive our group of wedding experts are, and were so pleased to have recommendations on the island when brides approach them. As first time visitors to Victoria, it was great to hear their fresh perspective on Victoria's diversity of activities that make it an ideal location for a destination wedding. After the Q&A panel, we did a draw for a beautiful painting by Raj Fontana, our sponsor for this event! The lucky winner was Corrina, a guest from the Parksville Bayside Resort.
It was another successful event, now let's kick off the summer right! Thank you to Ra Photography for elegantly capturing these precious moments, the Fairmont Empress for providing this beautiful space, and to everyone who came together to make this event happen. It is an excellent reminder of the dedicated WoW Members we have around us to recommend to clients or ask for help. We look forward to seeing all our WoW Members and guests in the industry who want to network, learn, showcase, share and celebrate with us at our next event. Click HERE to RSVP for our next event!
January 5th, 2018 | 0 COMMENTS
2017 was full of many accomplishments and we here at WoW could not be more proud of what our 4th year brought to our members and our networking events. Thank you to all of our members, showcase sponsors, vendors, board members for a great 2017...Now without further adue let's review.
Crazy 'FOUR' WoW
WoW started the year off with our anniversary party, ushering in our 4th year, joining our members together and starting off our networking opportunities. Our beautiful venue provided a backdrop for WoW members to brainstorm and be part of looking forward to our 2017 calendar. We were grateful for the opportunity and ideas that our members contributed and we hope you enjoyed the year ahead as much as we did. Read the Blog here.
2nd Annual WoW Wedding and Fashion
This March our members came together and did what 'WoW' members do best.... WOW!
Thank you to our dozens of vendors, showcase sponsors, and members who came together, manning fun, interactive table, raising funds for charity, meeting brides and grooms, and putting on a phenomenal fashion show. Thank you to everyone who supported WoW and a big thank you to everyone who helped raise $5500 for the BC Cancer Foundation. Read the Blog here.
Zambri's a big hit
April's spring weather led WoW to a new venue; sharing delicious offerings and exploring. This month's "Shameless Promotion" gave guests the chance to promote themselves. Leaving behind any fears of public speaking and taking the floor to to talk about themselves, and THEIR business. This is exactly what WoW is all about, giving members the opportunity to showcase, learn, network and promote with each other. Read the Blog here.
WoW En Blanc - Oh La La
What happens when a party spanning six continents comes to WoW? We WOW it! May brought with it sunny weather, the start and full swing into the busy season and our very own WoW en Blanc. A sophisticated party that we gave our own spin and the photos really speak for themselves. Since we are already participating in a multi continent party why not take the time to learn about the many traditions that take place at weddings and between couples, and that is what we exactly did this month's workshop. Read the Blog here.
Best way to Brush up on Wedding Trends
After taking the time to learn about traditions, why not look at the trends that have so many of our clients involving them in their special days. Our showcase sponsors WoW'ed again, this month while taking an educational turn. As members and guests ventured into the working garden we embarked in a full out scavenger hunt. Members got a chance to network while learning to build team relationships. Our workshop was an information packed spectacular, helping members to impress their clients and understand trends to help give clients exactly what they want. Read the Blog here.
Party Hawaiian Style
July brought summertime to Victoria and with it members indulged in a brief break from our busy schedules to relax and have a party of our very own. Not only did we convinced our members to take a break and enjoy a lovely venue, games and very enjoyable ride, complete with beverages; we also took this opportunity to talk about the elusive 'destination wedding". This included how to network with those out of town couples, leaving our members with some tips and tricks to interact and get the out of town referral. Read the Blog here.
With wedding season still in full motion, September came and with it the rain and the rolling hills of Central Saanich. WoW had the opportunity to explore a new venue, make new connections, and enjoy the company of our members. We also had the pleasure of hearing from our very own Sharon and Kally and the topic of "seeding your business". Giving members the opportunity to brainstorm on their business, seek advice and receive feedback in a supportive environment all with the hope the we get to strengthen business ties. Read our Blog here.
A Royal Morning of Etiquette
Over the past few years the Empress begun it's transformation, this October we welcomed the 'Return of the Queen" and in return, we were spoiled with hospitality and indulged in high tea. WoW took this opportunity to network with friends, and learn a few do's and don'ts of etiquette. A beautiful venue and some beautiful people, another event hosted with the class, and sophistication that we have come to love from our members. Read our Blog here.
Vancouver Island Wedding Awards
As the year wraps up, WoW had the pleasure of attending and being a sponsor of the 2017 Vancouver Island Wedding Awards. What a lovely event showcasing the many professionals on Vancouver Island. We are so proud of our members and their accomplishment and know that the awards are just one of the many ways that we get to experience and showcase them in the community. Congratulations again to the award winners. See our WoW winners here.
Finally, as our last event of the season wrapped up we took up a low key approach and had a social drink with our members. The end of the year seems to not only wrap up all the events, but there is always a host of gatherings and commitments. This year we took the time to relax, mingle and network at our Holiday Social.
Finally, a big thank you to the Members, Sponsors, and Vendors who all took part in WoW's events. We look forward to seeing you all to enjoy our 5th Anniversary party this February.