WoW Blog

WoW Members Hit Another Mock Wedding Out Of The Park!

July 20th, 2016

Thanks to a fine group of Showcase Sponsors, a lovely officiant and Lance and Michael, our special guests of the evening, this year's mock wedding was a fabulous event. We laughed, we learned, and we left inspired to provide even better services for all our clients.

By celebrating non-traditional 'mock' weddings with WoW, vendors are able to gain experience and insight, so that they can better serve all couples, no matter the context. Our Hindu wedding and Chinese wedding were both big hits, and now, we're happy to report that our LGBTQ2 mock wedding was, too. Our 'guests' didn't just watch a wedding; they fully embodied the role of wedding guests, and they also got to ask questions and learn about serving this community. Food, drink and merriment were all included as part of the experience. And we have many, many people to thank for a truly wonderful evening, including a big team of Showcase Sponsors.

We're dedicated to supporting our WoW Community in a variety of ways, so we've developed our mock weddings to ensure all our members are better able to serve many different communities within our city. Yes, this event was fun, but the educational component was even more important. All taking place at the gorgeous Reflections Rooftop, it was a night to remember.

Thanks, Lance and Michael

First, we couldn't have pulled off our LGBTQ2 wedding without Lance and Michael, our pretend grooms and very special guests for the evening. Lance and Michael really are engaged, and will be married next year. So this was a fun preview for them of what to expect, too.

Lance and Michael were so generous with their time - sitting for hair and makeup and photos long before our event even started. They're a friendly and engaging couple, and they were game for answering all our questions both before and after the ceremony. Their most important point is one that should be obvious, but bears repeating: same sex couples want to be treated like every other couple in love. They want their wedding vendors to be supportive, but 'normal' and low-key, too.

Supporting same sex couples isn't about plastering rainbows all over your website and being showy in your support. It's about treating every potential client who walks through your door the same. And we're so grateful that Lance and Michael helped illustrate this important point.

Thanks, Amanda Tarling

Second, we can think of no better mock officiant for our mock wedding then the very genuine Amanda Tarling. Amanda is a wedding officiant who has officiated hundreds of weddings, and she is 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."

Amanda was also very generous with her time and very interactive, answering all sorts of questions about her experiences. Our evening would not have been the same without her.

Thanks, Showcase Sponsors

Like always, we had a fabulous time, because our Showcase Sponsors put so much work into the evening. Mock weddings are the perfect venue for vendors to really show what their wedding services are about, in a lifelike situation. They get to experience working with other vendors to pull off a realistic event, and they also get beautiful, professional photos for their portfolios. And of course, the rest of us get to sit back and enjoy their work. Talk about a win-win!

Details Special Event Planning & Decor

Our beautiful wedding was decorated by Details Special Event Planning & Decor. Owner and Lead Planner Nicole Jespersen always does such beautiful events, and this was no exception. Nicole says that "I make things look pretty and I do it with a smile.  Having been a part of Victoria weddings and events of all different sizes, there is nothing more important to me than seeing my client’s vision come to life." And as you can see, she means what she says!

Victoria Event Services

What's a wedding without some yummy drinks for toasting? We were very lucky to have Victoria Event Services provide refreshments - and therefore lots of merriment - for Lance and Michael's mock wedding. With 40 successful years under their belt, Victoria Event Services offers qualified, experienced catering and bartending service for any event, creating a seamless, professional process from start to finish. All that, and their refreshments are just so darn tasty, too!

Sharon Rai Hair & Makeup Artistry

Our fearless founder Sharon Rai of Sharon Rai Hair & Makeup Artistry is nationally recognized for her work. Often, that means dramatic, stunning looks for brides (see here and here for example!). And if you think there wasn't much work involved in giving grooms the same treatment, think again! Men want to look their best, both on film and during the course of their wedding, which can often be long and tiring. With some expert touches, Sharon ensured that Lance and Micheal were looking their best - and therefore, happy and handsome - all evening long.

Classie Lady Catering

Celebrating with friends works up an appetite! Thankfully, Classie Lady Catering was on hand with a yummy assortment of appetizers that hit just the right note. Ursula has been scintillating clients with her classic and elegant catering service in Victoria for almost 30 years. Whether you're looking for classic elegance, rustic comfort, relaxed home/garden style or haute cuisine - Classie Lady Catering can make your vision a reality.

Gala-Van Party Shop

Of course, there's no point in inviting lots of guests to a wedding, mock or otherwise, if you've got no where to seat them. Thankfully, Gala-Van Party Shop stepped in with a bevy of high quality chairs and tables for the evening. With over 30 years in the party business, Gala-Van has a wide inventory with just about everything you could possibly need for weddings and events. This family owned and operated business is a great, one-stop-shop for your party needs.

Gatherings Photobooth

And since there's just about nothing more fun at weddings than photobooths, we were so happy to have new WoW Member Gatherings Photobooth bring theirs. Their open air photobooth, complete with SLR camera, studio lighting and high-definition preview, adds so much fun to any special occasion - including ours! See our complete collection of fun photobooth photos here.

And wondering if sponsoring a WoW Event is a good idea? Pattie of Gatherings Photobooth had this to say: "Thanks so much for having us at the event last night.  It was a great opportunity to try out an outdoor venue!  I am really looking forward to next month's event."

Spark & Whimsy Photography

Last and certainly not least, every beautiful event needs a skilled photographer to capture all the lovely moments for posterity. And that's why we were so happy to have Juliana Wigmore of Spark & Whimsy Photography on board. Juliana's photos are always lovely and perfectly on-point. She says that "We believe pictures tell stories that words sometimes can’t. They help us connect with each other and remember things that we may otherwise forget because sometimes we all move just a little too fast. We specialize in wedding and family photography because families are important to me. They are fun and beautiful and interesting and complicated."

So thanks again to Juliana for all the beautiful photos you see on this very blog post. 

All Over But the Mingling

As you can see, our mock wedding was brilliantly executed by a great team. And we had the perfect couple and officiant to help us celebrate. The rest was up to our 'guests' - the dozens of WoW members who joined us at the gorgeous Reflections Rooftop. As a networking organization, WoW is only as good as our members - and thankfully, our members are AWESOME.

Between all the toasting and learning, our guests also made time for what WoW does best: making better and stronger connections. We know how to party, and we also know how to mingle, and since we're all running like-minded companies in a similar space, our events are ripe for professional partnerships and referrals. And our mock wedding was no exception.

So make sure you don't miss out on our next event! We're opening up our event to everyone on Vancouver Island, and meeting at the beautiful Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe. We're going to be hosting a fabulous guest speaker (Dawn McCooey!) and featuring a team-building scavenger hunt. Bring your business cards AND your sneakers, and don't forget to RSVP by emailing info@victoriawow.com!

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