WoW Blog - Celebrate

Our 4th Year Reviewed!

January 10th, 2017 | 0 COMMENTS

WoW, WoW, WoW ... it's hard to believe we're celebrating our 4 Year Anniversary! With another successful year on the books, we're looking back at how much we've accomplished together this year. We've grown as an organization, and we know that our members have all made significant strides with their own business goals, too - and that's what we're all about.

And this has certainly been a busy year. Kally Khaira came on board as our new Director of Member of Relations, to ensure that we're continually meeting our members' needs and expectations. We hosted another fun mock wedding and our first-ever industry wide party, and we showed up in full force to celebrate the Vancouver Island Wedding Awards. And each month, we offered fun, creative workshops at some of the most exclusive venues in the city.

Kally and I would also like to thank the Board Members and the WoW team for all their contributions in the past year - WoW is very much a team effort, and we've just about the best team around.

So without further ado, keep reading for our year in review, to see what wedding professionals, from companies big and small, can accomplish when we work together!

Celebrating Three Years at The Butchart Gardens

We kicked off our year with a fun celebration at The Butchart Gardens. We were treated to their world-famous high tea, so our morning's activities were fueled by a smorgasbord of mouth-watering hot traditional delicacies and savories. Our workshop was "Mastering the Grapevine: Getting - and Giving! - Better Referrals." Each Member had an opportunity to 'shamelessly promote' their wedding business, and in the process, we asked key questions to help reveal their networking strategies and goals. Our hope was that this would lead to more meaningful connections after the workshop, and boy were we right! It was great to see so many members staying late to catch up with their fellow colleagues.

For more pictures and to read more about February's event, please see here. 

The Best Way to Set Goals with WoW

Thanks to the Teahouse at Abkhazi Gardens, in March we learned that the best way to set goals is in a beautiful garden setting, surrounded by fabulous people. The 'Garden that Love Built' provided the perfect setting to connect with our fellow wedding professionals, while we were treated to wine and charcuterie at this beloved Victoria landmark.

Our creative workshop focused on goal setting with vision boards (just like our first ever event!), with each table tasked to envision WoW's future (and how WoW can continue to support their own business goals). We split into 5 groups, representing our 5 'VoWs to WoW': celebrate, network, learn, showcase and share. Each table then was invited to share their vision boards with the whole group, leading to some great, thought-provoking discussion (and lots of note-taking on our part!).

For more pictures and to read more about March's event, please see here. 

Beautiful Views at our April Event

Our April event featured everything WoW is about: great networking, great colleagues, great hosts, great seminars, and a whole lot of fun, too. Who says you can't enjoy yourself  while you grow your business? Certainly not our Showcase Sponsors: Olympic View Golf Club, Brown's the Florist, Details Special Event Planning and Decor, Spark and Whimsy Photography, and Fetching Image Photography!

As highlighted in this event, education is a huge factor in making our events successful - and so useful for our members. Many of our members are solopreneurs, and of course any business that caters to weddings and events gets swamped during the summer. And that means that many of our members simply don't have the time they'd like to stay up-to-date on current industry and marketing trends and best practices. Our jam-packed education sessions help fill that gap so our members can remain leaders in Victoria.

This April, Stacey Mitchell of Directis Consulting Group Ltd stopped by to help members learn more about goal setting and road maps. We love getting great speakers like Stacey to ensure that all our members are learning lots from our WoW events.

For more pictures and to read more about April's event, please see here.

 

Fun & Inspiration at Our First WoW Industry Party

Our May event proved it: WoW knows how to party! We opened our doors to the wider Victoria wedding and events community for our first-ever industry party, and the result was fun and inspirational. Great food, a great venue, and a big turnout with great companies all led to a beautiful evening that left us so excited to start the 2016 wedding season!

For more pictures and to read more about our May event, please see here.

 

Magic Happens When Victoria's Top Pros Meet!

We were so excited to head back to the Ambrosia Conference & Event Centre for our June event - we knew from experience that this seasoned WoW Member wouldn't disappoint! Their beautiful venue provided the perfect backdrop for networking and a great time. We enjoyed delicious appies and mimosas, and a warm, welcoming space right in the heart of downtown Victoria.

We were delighted to have Sarah Barnum of The Butchart Gardens as our guest speaker.  Sarah is one of our dedicated, intrepid Board Members, and she kicked off our event with a special presentation focused on how to pitch to clients quickly and effectively. Sarah is clearly an expert in her field, and she shared tips and strategies for identifying future clients, and communicating the professional, reliable services you can offer them.

For more pictures and to read more about our June event, please see here.

 

WoW Members Hit Another Mock Wedding Out of the Park!

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 LGBTQ 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.

For this year's mock wedding, we also opened the floor up to our 'grooms,' letting members ask them all sorts of questions about how they were approaching their 'real' wedding. This offered some great, first-hand insight into issues LGBTQ2 couples face when planning their weddings in Victoria.

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 and officiated by new WoW member Amanda Tarling, it was a night to remember.

For more pictures and to read more about our July event, please see here.

 

New Venue Offers New Ways to be 'WoW'ed!'

As wedding planners and professionals, we LOVE getting a new venue to explore. So when Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe offered to host our August event, we were all too happy to oblige! And exploring this new venue really highlights why it's important for our venue members to host events. Because for the first time, a group of dozens of professionals got to see exactly what this venue offers - and you can be sure that means they'll be referring it to the right clients going forward. We always work hard to showcase the very best of our venues, especially when they're new members like Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe.

We were also thrilled to welcome back WoW favourite Dawn McCooey of the Women's Enterprise Centre as our guest speaker. We take great care to research all of our guest speakers, to ensure they have something really great to share with our members. We always love Dawn's talks - this year she focused on increasing sales, with lots of great takeaways.

Fore more pictures and to read more about August's event, please see here.

 

A Fun Evening at Epicure

In September, WoW Members met at Epicure for a little networking, a little inspiration, and a little cooking. It was a fresh take on our usual events, offering a wonderful opportunity to learn, relax, and experience the best of what Vancouver Island has to offer.

CEO Amelia Warren opened Epicure's beautiful doors to WoW, for a rare, private cooking class that was as educational as it was delicious. Epicure focuses on quick meals made with healthy, seasonal and minimal ingredients - the perfect solution for busy families who want to put nutritious food on the table. In 7 minutes (7 minutes!), Amelia whipped up Asian Slaw (get the recipe here) and Easy Asian Lettuce Wraps (get the recipe here) .... so yummy!

Amelia also gave a very inspirational talk, about growing her $30 million business and her business philosophy. We know our ambitious members appreciated getting the inside scoop from a seasoned pro.

For more pictures and to read more about our September event, please see here.

 

WoW Experts Share Their Wedding Show Success Stories

We know so many WoW members will be busy during wedding show-season, manning booths and trying to connect with more brides and grooms. So we dedicated our October event to boosting our wedding show skills. We were thrilled to hand over the floor to two WoW veterans and board members, Sharon Rai of Sharon Rai Hair and Makeup Artistry, and Deanna McCollum of Deanna McCollum Photography. Both women have learned the fine art of wedding shows, and they led an insightful, interactive workshop.

For more pictures and to read more about our October event, please see here.

 

WoW Parties Down at the Vancouver Island Wedding Awards

In November, WoW came out big to support all our members and our local industry at the Vancouver Island Wedding Awards. It was a lovely opportunity to connect and network. One of our goals for this year was to expand our network, making it easier for our members to network with professionals across the city - not just fellow members. The Wedding Awards were one the lovely ways we got to accomplish this goal this year.

Hosted by WoW Member The Fairmont Empress, coordinated by WoW Member Party Mood and photographed by WoW Member Spark & Whimsy Photography, the evening was a lovely showcase of what happens when wedding and event professionals join forces.

We know it can be intimidating going to industry events alone - but they're so important for making necessary connections in the industry. That's why it was so important for us to provide a comfortable, easy way for our members to attend this year (for free, no less!).  And besides, our awesome WoW members just make everything more fun - we're already looking forward to next year!

We loved seeing so many WoW members (it's always fun to have a 'night off' at the end of wedding season!), and we loved cheering everyone on. Keep reading to see which WoW members won - although you can probably guess that all our members are 'winners' in our eyes - and in the eyes of the happy brides and grooms they serve.

For more pictures, please see here.

A Smashing Good Time at The Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort

This year's holiday party was our second event at The Delta Victoria, and once again, our hosts didn't disappoint. Ideally located in the heart of the city's vibrant downtown district, on Victoria's Inner Harbour, the views were just stunning. We got to see the city all a-glow with Christmas lights, while staying cozy and warm in their beautiful LURE Restaurant & Bar.

And of course, what makes any WoW event great? It's our wonderful members - and we loved seeing so many come out to celebrate the holiday season - and the end of another successful wedding season, too. We forewent our usual creative workshop and speaker, to give everyone a chance to relax, unwind, have a drink, and make merry. We mingled, we networked, we talked about small things and big things and made plans for the new year. We left inspired by the amazing community we all share, and excited to make WoW even better in the new year.

For more pictures and to read more about our December event, please see here.


As you can see, our events are the key to understanding what WoW is all about. We're proud to give Members the opportunities to Network, Learn, Showcase, Share and Celebrate each month. WoW events are enjoyable and personal - our members are supportive and genuinely care about each other. But they're also focused, purposeful opportunities designed to foster relationships and ultimately drive sales and bookings.

As we move into our 5th year, we're excited to continue our WoW journey with you. We're actively planning out the year ahead, and we'd love your feedback. If you'd like to be a Showcase Sponsor, or if you have an idea for a great WoW event or creative workshop, please contact the WoW team at info@victoriawow.com.

We've also got some more big goals for WoW. In 2017, we will be working to grow WoW, solidify our relationships, and unify our businesses under a recognizable brand. We want all brides and grooms in the Victoria area to recognize the WoW brand and understand that WoW membership is a sure signal that a company offers stellar services, products and customer service.

And finally, it's time to celebrate! Come join us at the Ambrosia Conference & Event Centre this February 21 for our big Anniversary Party. Everyone is invited: find all the details here.

Celebrate the Season with the Best of the City!

November 25th, 2016 | 0 COMMENTS

It's that time of year again .... not only do we have our annual blow-out holiday bash to look forward to. We've also got a city full of WoW members offering special events and special savings to enjoy! Keep reading for tips on how to celebrate in style this year.

We just love Tara McHugh Flora gift baskets - they're a fun, easy and super-posh way to show you care. They're beautifully curated with handmade quality Canadian goods, and can be customized to your needs and your clients. They typically range from $95 to $145.00, and they can be shipped across Canada.

Tara McHugh Flora also offers a gift service, and she wanted to let you know that if you need any help this holiday season please send her an email or give her a call! She can be reached tara@taramchughflora.com.

And finally (this is why we're really excited!), Tara McHugh Flora is offering WoW Members only 20% off her holiday gift boxes. Find them here.

 

Did you know that L.A. Limousines offers Christmas Light Tours? We can't think of a better way to take in the beautiful sites and sounds of the city this holiday season (we recently got to try out L.A. Limousines and loved the results - see more here). Enjoy the tour as you and up to 7 guests spend an hour and half tour in a luxury limousine.

And pssssst ... wanna know a secret? L.A. Limousines has generously donated a free Christmas Light Tour as a door prize at our upcoming Holiday Party. As if you needed another reason to RSVP! All wedding and events professionals in the city are invited - learn more here.


Just like the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort is a beloved landmark in our beautiful harbour, so too is their 'Christmas Starlight Cinema' a favourite tradition in the city. See all the movies and dates they've got lined up here.

 

The Ambrosia Conference & Event Centre reminds us that they still have some spots left for Christmas parties, right in the heart of downtown Victoria!

Also don't miss The Nerdy Days of Christmas, coming up at Ambrosia. Find more details here.

Don't miss Earth's Herbal Tea at the upcoming Pretty Things Craft Fair! Find all the details here.

What's Christmas in Victoria without a trip to see the gingerbread houses at the Inn at Laurel Point? They're as beautiful as always this year, and the Inn at Laurel Point (and their AURA Restaurant) have lots more to tempt you this season. Learn more here.

 

Want a festive and delicious Christmas without all the work and hassle? Then you need a little Truffles Catering in your life (don't we all!). Learn more about their holiday offerings here.

Ginger bitters, fresh ginger cream cheese icing, Kahlua/Baileys whip, sprinkles .... yup, you can get some pretty fine seasonal trips at The Guild Freehouse!

It's that time of year again! Indulge in The Teahouse at Abkhazi Garden's four-course Festive Christmas High Tea by the warmth of the fire, but hurry because they're booking up quickly! See the complete and totally delectable menu here.

The Parkside Hotel & Spa invites you to take a journey through a living snow globe, all within the hotel’s atrium! Enjoy the beautifully decorated trees with all snowflake ornaments available for purchase in support of The Cridge Centre for the Family.  As a thank you for donating, all donors will be entered in a draw for a chance to win a complimentary stay at the hotel in the New Year! Find more details here.



Got little ones in the family? Then sign them up for the Garden Arts Holiday Camp at The Gardens at HCP. Children create fun-to-make garden arts and crafts, using natural materials, upcycled items, and their own two hands! Find more details here.

There's so much to do at The Fairmont Empress over the holidays that it's hard know where to start! Make stopping in to see the 25th Annual Victoria Festival of Trees in their lobby a must on your next trip downtown. And don't forget their Christmas Dinner - find all the details here.

We know The Fairmont Empress is beautiful this time of year (and always!) because they hosted last year's WoW Holiday Party. See more photos here.

And what more can we say about Christmas at The Butchart Gardens? Share the wonder of the season with their Christmas light display, outdoor rink, carollers and festive food. Find all the details here.


And finally, we have to include our Annual WoW Holiday Party in our list of must-do's this season! This year we're inviting all event and wedding professionals to bring a date and get in on the networking fun, all at the stunning Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort. Find all the details here and RSVP now!

4 Ways to Celebrate New Years in Victoria!

December 16th, 2015 | 0 COMMENTS

We love New Years - it's the perfect way to celebrate with family and friends, maybe drink a little champagne, and reflect on our accomplishments and our goals (which just happens to be something we do regularly at our networking events, too!). There are always lots of options for New Years, so we've got your back - with many hotels and venues among our membership, we knew they'd be offering some great events. So here's how to ring in 2016, WoW-style!

The Parkside Hotel & Spa

Sometimes, you've got to start the party yourself - which you can easily do with The Parkside Hotel & Spa's current Spa and Stay Package. Enjoy a stay in their One Bedroom Luxury Suite, with spa credit. Perfect for relaxing and resetting after a busy holiday season - plus, The Parkside Hotel & Spa is conveniently located downtown, making it easy to live it up!

Please note that The Parkside Hotel & Spa also offers special savings for CAA, BCAA and AAA members.

The Oswego Hotel

Jazz up your New Years at The Oswego Hotel this year. The new menu at the O Bistro is divine, and should be on your list of 'must-trys' this holiday season. And on New Years Eve, they'll be celebrating with live music from WoW-approved jazz musician, John MacArthur. Learn more here.

Ambrosia Conference & Event Centre

While not technically on New Years, this buzz-worthy event at Ambrosia Conference & Event Centre, coming early in 2016, is already getting us excited for the new year! Their Murder Mystery Event will be a fun, fresh take on the genre (and it makes a great New Years present, too!) Learn more here.

Inn at Laurel Point

Inn at Laurel Point is always busy this time of year, hosting some of Victoria's favourite holiday traditions. This year - and this New Years - is no exception. Aura Waterfront Restaurant & Patio has a special evening planned. Let Executive Chef Ito and his team dazzle your taste buds one last time in 2015!  Leave the horns and blowers at home, and enter the year right, with a truly tasteful adventure. Reservations are recommended - learn more here.


Best wishes again to all our readers, and especially to all our Members. Thanks for making 2015 wonderful - and we're working hard to make sure 2016 is even better. Happy New Year, and see you soon!

Holiday Offerings and Events from Victoria's Top Wedding & Events Companies!

November 29th, 2015 | 0 COMMENTS

Our WoW Members are awesome all year round ... And for the holidays, we have even more to share! Here's all the ways you and your family can enjoy the city this season, with a few fun deals, too! 

 

 

 

 

 


Willow Stream Spa at The Fairmont Empress was just awarded a Top 25 Spa in Canada by the 2015 Canadian Spa and Wellness Awards, and they're making giving luxury easy this holiday season. Their gift to you with every $200 gift card purchase is the Aromatherapy Associates Star. Gift cards are available in any denomination and are the perfect gift for everyone on your holiday list. Learn more here

Book the Trees of Hope special holiday package at The Fairmont Empress this holiday season and a portion of your room rate will be donated to Fairmont's Trees of Hope. Trees of Hope is a charitable program that supports children's charities in our communities. An opportunity to make a big difference! Learn more here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tara McHugh Flora is offering modern gift boxes this holiday season, with beautiful handmade Canadian products. And she is pleased to offer all WOW members 10% off their gift boxes! Learn more here.

Coming in early 2016, Ambrosia Conference & Event Centre's Murder Mystery Event will be a fun, fresh take on the genre. Makes a great Christmas present! Learn more here.

Award-winning Brown's the Florist can make your holidays pretty, and your gift giving easy. Find a wide assortment of holiday flowers, plants and baskets here.

WoW Members were recently treated to Classie Lady Catering & Events, so we can attest to their culinary prowess! Find their sure-to-please Holiday Buffet Menu here.

Cook's Day Off is another phenomenal catering company in Victoria, which has been providing freshness, quality, consistency and value for over 22 years. Find their Christmas menu here.

Any winter brides looking for some last minute décor or day-of-coordination? Details Special Event Planning and Decor has a great offer - learn more here.

With the holiday party season upon us, Gala-Van Party Shop can help you with glassware, dishes, cutlery, tables, chairs and linen. No order too small - learn more here.

The Gingerbread Overnight Package from Inn at Laurel Point includes ne magical night in waterfront accommodation, a very special Gingerbread Welcome Amenity baked by Pastry Chef, Kimberley Vy, and more. Learn more here.
And what Christmas in Victoria is complete without a visit to their Gingerbread Showcase?

Bring a warm clothing item for charity and SPIN to WIN some fabulous prizes at Kazen Hair & Beauty! Through the month of December. Learn more here.

Whether you're entertaining for many or a few, Chef Shirley of Kitchens of Distinction offers an abundance of delicious Private or Corporate offerings. Gift certificates for any occasion are also available. Learn more here.


Victoria is so pretty this time of year, why not consider a city tour with L.A. Limousines & Transportation Services? Learn more here.

Anne Pollock of Party Mood did such a fabulous job decorating last year's Christmas party - and she can do yours, too! Learn more here.

Pedersen's Event Rentals has rental equipment and supplies for weddings and special events of all kinds. Visit our showroom in Victoria, BC (Vancouver Island) to see new and innovative party ideas. Learn more here

Sandman Hotel Victoria provided a stunning backdrop and catering for our last Christmas party. Learn more about parties and banquets at this gorgeous hotel here. 

Très Chic Bridal Boutique is hosting this fun crafting session tonight! Learn more here.

With over 20 years catering experience, Truffles Caterting planners will help make the festive details easy! Learn more here.

There's no place to celebrate the magic of Christmas like The Butchart Gardens! Between December 1st through January 6th, enjoy a host of wonderful activities and delights with your family. Learn more here.

Due to popular demand, The Gardens at HCP added one more Wreath Making workshop with Finlay to their schedule! They  have a marvelous selection of greens, even for the experienced wreath maker. Learn more here.

It's Turkey Time, and the O Bistro at The Oswego Hotel has you covered. If you would like to leave the cooking and clean-up to our culinary team, then be sure to make a reservation! Learn more here.

The holiday season can be so hectic - which is why it's all the more important to take time for yourself! The Parkside Hotel & Spa has a variety of current spa specials to make that easy. And they have several Gift with Purchase Holiday Specials. Learn more here.

This year, indulge in culinary extravagance with The Teahouse at Abkhazi Garden's four-course Festive Christmas High Tea! Learn more, and see the complete decadent menu, here.


And of course, no Christmas in Victoria is complete with out tea at The Fairmont Empress - and that's what we'll be enjoying at our next networking event. Admission is free for our members, of course. Other wedding professionals are invited to come indulge, while getting in some important networking and learning, for $40. Find more details here, and RSVP by emailing info@victoriawow.com!      

WoW's Guide to Traditional Chinese Weddings

August 5th, 2015 | 0 COMMENTS

Part of our mandate at WoW is to help members learn about the latest in wedding and business trends, and to provide them more and unique opportunities for education and networking. And now that we're in the height of wedding season, there's no better way to do that than with another fabulous WoW mock wedding. This August, it's Tony and Chen who are getting 'married' - and they'll be showcasing traditional Chinese weddings as they do. They'll be enjoying a traditional ceremony at the beautiful Teahouse at Abakazi Gardens, and we'll all get to participate as guests.