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Submitted by Mary Lallande
  “A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person”
  - Germaine Greer


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August Event Moments


Pauline Parry
2010 WIPA President

Recommit to Yourself

As wedding professionals we hear our clients talk a lot about commitment; we ask them what it means to them and how they want to express it so we can create a day that embraces their feelings. But now, as the wedding season winds down and we have a little more breathing space, it’s time we look at ourselves and ask those same questions.

Being in a service industry we are naturally nurturers. And, of course, we wouldn’t even be doing what we are doing if were hadn’t made a commitment at some point to being in business and all that entails. But I’ve found that we can’t give unless we replenish ourselves.

So my vow to myself for the last quarter of 2010 is to commit time to reflect and rejuvenate. One of the ways I’ll do this is with family and friends and a couple well-deserved, long-anticipated trips. But I’ll also take concrete steps rethink and renew my company’s direction and stock my reserves as I do every year at this time. This means committing anew to the organizations to which I belong and to seeking continued education as a wedding professional, caterer, event designer and business owner.

And I’ve already begun to do so. I just returned from an amazing few days at a conference just for chefs. Spending time laughing and learning away from the pressure of daily business was an eye-opener. And right before I left I attended two wonderful WIPA meetings with Rebecca Grinnals of Engaging Concepts Consulting. She refreshed and deepened my excitement about the wedding market and its very rosy future.

And now we are getting ready for the WIPA October meeting with Andrew Spurgin as well as WIPA education track at The Special Event in Phoenix in January and Catersource and Event solutions in Las Vegas in February.  We have a great lineup of speakers – Marcy Blum, Sean Low and Rebecca to name a few -- that will offer new perspectives, priceless business advice and infuse you with the energy.

If you aren’t a member already, take the plunge and commit to yourself by saying “I Do” to WIPA!

Pauline Parry
Good Gracious! Events!
2010-2011 WIPA President


WIPA would like to welcome and thank our newest Members for joining and supporting such a wonderful association, as we continue to expand across the Nation! We would like to highlight what it is that makes them "Wedding Industry Professionals!"

Eddie Zaratsian
Tic Tock Couture Floral & Events
1603 N. La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90028

Celebrity florist Tic-Tock Couture Florals is arguably one of the most in-demand florists in Los Angeles. For over twenty years, Tic-Tock's original and breathtaking floral arrangements have made Tic-Tock the first call for A-List personalities, event organizers, top-tier wedding planners and entertainment industry heavy-hitters.

Kathy Wright
Kathy Wright & Co.
7525 Metropolitan Dr. #300
San Diego, CA 92108

Kathy Wright & Co is the gold standard of floral and event design in San Diego. For over 30 years, Kathy and her team of 'creative minds' have worked to create events that evoke the spirit and essence of themselves, truly a 'one of a kind' experience that stays with them, and their guests, long after the event. The highest level of quality, in service and product, is the hallmark of the Kathy Wright experience.

Joann Roth-Oseary
Someone's in the Kitchen
5973 Reseda Blvd.
Tarzana, CA 91356

Someone's in the Kitchen is an award winning full service catering and event planning company. We offer the perfect combination of cuisine, creativity, and concierge finesse to the most discriminating brides.

Tisha Hong
California Academy of Sciences
55 Music Concourse Drive
San Francisco, CA 94118

The California Academy of Sciences celebrates love by taking inspiration from nature. The Academy is a living, breathing museum and aquarium, showcasing the beauty and diversity of life on Earth. Wedding guests are sure to cherish their experiences amongst our fascinating creatures and stunning green architecture for decades to come.


Written by: Joyce Scardina Becker, CMP
Events of Distinction

Joyce Scardina-Becker, CMP
WIPA Founding Sponsor
and First President

Congratulations to these WIPA Members for their recent accomplishments!!

The following WIPA Members were accepted to speak at The Special Event 2011 Conference, which will take place January 25-28 in Phoenix:

  • Wendy Dahl
  • Sharon Dexmier and Leighsa Montrose, AIFD
  • Mike Hogan
  • Anseth Richards
  • Carol Rosen, CSEP
  • Joyce Scardina Becker, CMP and Leighsa Montrose, AIFD

The following WIPA Members were accepted to speak at Catersource 2011, which will take place February 27 - March 2 in Las Vegas:

  • Therese Cole Hubbs
  • Ali Phillips
  • Joyce Scardina Becker, CMP and Leighsa Montrose, AIFD
  • Panel Discussion with Molly Kruger, Tracey Kumer-Moore, Pauline Parry, Carol Rosen and Moderator Liese Gardner

WIPA Members Events of Distinction, Branch Out Floral and Event Design, Napa Valley Linens, collaborated to produce a table design that is featured in the current (Fall/Winter 2010) issue of Grace Ormonde Wedding Style MagazineClassic Party Rentals and Got Light? furnished rental items and lighting for this table setting.

WIPA President Pauline Parry, Owner of Good Gracious! Events, has been invited to serve on the Advisory Board of Special Events Magazine.

Joyce Scardina Becker received an Esprit Award from the International Special Events Society in the category of “Best Wedding, Budget $75,000-$200,000.”


Written by: Tracey Kumer-Moore, JWIC
Your Las Vegas Wedding Concierge

Tracey Kumer-Moore, JWIC
Your Las Vegas Wedding Concierge
WIPA Education Director

The swank and luxurious St. Regis San Francisco Hotel was the place for wedding industry professionals to be on August 3rd when WIPA hosted renowned wedding industry marketing expert and thought leader, Rebecca Grinnals, founder of Engaging Concepts and the “Engage Luxury Wedding Business Summits.”

Vibrant berry and chartreuse summer-colored linens provided by Napa Valley Linens popped, set against elegant black and white linens patterns of rose and damask. The burst of hues were seen in everything from the cocktail table décor to the dining table décor with striking ebony-black chargers and goblets by Classic Party Rentals, gorgeous flowers from Radeff Design Studios and even the eye-popping and delicious looking dessert buffet created by Buttercream Studio and Socola Chocolatier including Burnt Caramel with Sea Salt and French Macaroons.

The captivating and soulful sounds of Matt Venuti and the Venusians serenaded attendees during registration and our luncheon. Matt Venuti plays a very unique and relatively new instrument called “The Hang”. It is truly a rare instrument to hear and truly beautiful and enchanting.

Thanks to The Card Lady, every item in the beautiful luncheon buffet presentation that Catering Director, Barry Peterson and his staff created for us was displayed in calligraphy on exquisite crystal-adorned, menu cards; each one elegantly framed.

Speaking of a delicious menu, attendees had a delightfully eclectic choice from Strozzapreti Paella Style cooked in Shellfish Broth with Spanish Saffron to Whole Roasted Bone-In Prime Rib, Bordelaise Sauce, Summer Chanterelle.

However, our Speaker Rebecca Grinnals was the real highlight of the day as she “Engaged” us with a presentation packed full of “take-a-ways” that every wedding discipline could capitalize on related to the luxury wedding and destination wedding market.

Planners-Did you know the opportunity to be the problem and time solver for your client is at its peak with the average American wedding involving an average of 43 creative partners?!! Be “the advisor”. High-end brides want to know how to incorporate “Smart Luxury” into their event by spending smarter and having quality. Saving them time is the “Ultimate Luxury”.

Did you know that 43% of all US Weddings are “Encore Weddings” and roughly 65% of those involve children? How are YOU marketing to potential clients to take advantage of this?

Destination Weddings are still incredibly popular and although becoming more intimate in numbers, the budgets are creeping upwards as couples look at destination weddings (whether across the country, across the seas or 200 miles from home) as an opportunity to put their unique personality stamp on their day by making it a true multi-day celebration.

Lastly, I admired her point that selling Luxury, be it wedding planning service, fine catering, designer gown or jewelry, photography, papery, etc., should be “a labor of Love” and we should all step up and maintain in personal service. For, the higher the product cost, the grander the effort our efforts should be for through follow-through and long-term client relationship. I am proud to know that all of us involved in WIPA feel exactly the same way.

WIPA thanks our sponsors Pure Luxury Transportation for ferrying our Speaker Rebecca in style to and from our beautiful property, the St. Regis, San Francisco, who graciously accommodated Rebecca for the evening in their signature sumptuous rooms.

Thank you to our Northern California Programs Committee: Programs Director, Dina Balatti, Monica Rocchino, Paula LeDuc Fine Catering for putting together an outstanding event.


The St. Regis San Francisco
Barry Peterson, Director of Catering
125 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

The Buttercream Studio
Tracy Auseklis
158 South Spruce Avenue
South San Francisco, CA 94080

Socola Chocolatier
Susan Lieu
San Francisco, CA 94110

Napa Valley Linens
Sharon Dexmier
1054-E Shary Circle
Concord, CA 94518

Radeff Design Studios
Tracy Radeff
956 Illinois Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

Classic Party Rentals
Leah Burns-de Guzman
1635 Rollins Road, Suite A
Burlingame, CA 94010

Matt Venuti
614 Fourth Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94118

Wendy Maclaurin Richardson Photography
Wendy Maclaurin Richardson
1624 Grove Street
San Francisco, CA 94117

The Card Lady
Karla Randolph
4250 Verdigris Circle
San Jose, CA 95134

Pure Luxury Transportation
Antoinette Allison and Jennifer Buffo
4246 Petaluma Boulevard North
Petaluma, CA 94952


Written by: Natasha Chornesky
The Write Shot Photography & 2010 Education Committee Member

Natasha Chornesky
The Write Shot Photography 2010 Education Committee Member

Over 60 wedding industry creative partners joined WIPA’s southern California chapter at the Grand Del Mar Resort and Spa on Wednesday, August 4, to hear Rebecca Grinnals, of Engaging Concepts, one of the industry’s foremost experts on destination weddings, honeymoons and all things luxury.

Among the charmeuse satin gold linens and gold chivari chairs, members and non-members mingled while sipping coffee and tea, prior to Rebecca taking the podium.

Highlights of Rebecca’s presentation included defining the “Millennium Bride”.

“She’s smart, she’s looking for value for her money and no matter her budget, she brags about what she saves,” shared Rebecca. “It’s a badge of honor for her to tell her friends she received the best deal.”

Rebecca encouraged luxury wedding industry creative partners to become experts in helping these brides become even smarter.

“Uncover their uniqueness and then provide a service that is tailored to that specific need,” she urged.

According to Rebecca, “Millennium Brides” ask questions and are eager to learn something; to become connoisseurs.

Attributes of these high value brides include that they are family focused, enjoy life and want to have fun at their wedding. Personalization and customization are “key” to their experience, when selecting their team of creative partners for their wedding.

“They are unique and traditional all at once,” described Rebecca.

These “affluencers,” as Rebecca affectionately nicknamed these luxury brides, shape trends by consistently using social media to share and shape ideas, concepts and trends.

Rebecca suggested creative partners appeal to these brides by customizing services, creating scarcity, addressing their need for instant gratification, and by providing a stress free and fun experience. She also suggests involving the grooms in your product/service.

So enthralled was the WIPA crowd that Rebecca’s presentation ran overtime, but nobody minded. She held her audience captivated.

Upon conclusion of Rebecca’s presentation, the group was moved to Grand Del Mar’s rear lawn where four food stations capped off the corners of a gorgeous tent provided by Raj Tents.

Photographers in attendance commented on the exceptional warm lighting the Maharaja-style tent provided, while planners marveled at layers of silk artfully draped around support poles adding a colorful and romantic touch.

Inside the elegant tent, guests sat down to tables dressed with florals by Kathy Wright & Co. and Italian pleated gold satin linens accented with gold Chivari chairs provided by Fusion Linens, while Kool Furniture Rentals’ sleek white tufted leather banquettes created an intimate experience for those seated at tables in each corner. As the musicians from Wayne Foster Entertainment serenaded with the sounds of summer, members and non-members alike, table- hopped, Got Flipped catching up with old friends, while reaching out to new, under the tent and on the lawn for several hours, this perfect southern California afternoon.

Rebecca, in between bites of lobster, Panini, tomato salad, lamb and polenta, graciously consulted one-on-one with attendees. The line seeking her expertise never ceased, save for people ducking out to Sensational Treats’ decadent gelato, cupcake and donut bar for some mid-afternoon sweet fortification.

Overheard while awaiting the valet; was one WIPA member to another, “We have just got to get Rebecca back in 2011. I could’ve listened to her all day.” We are working on it!!

Additional resources Rebecca suggested for members to research include:

Thanks to our Southern California Programs Committee, Paige Levy, Jessica Gillon and Nahid Farhoud for putting together an outstanding event.


The Grand Del Mar
Paige Levy
5300 Grand Del Mar Court
San Diego, CA 92130

Fusion Linens
Veronica Taylor
Account Manager
22600 Lambert Street
Lake Forest, CA 92630-1623

Raj Tents LLC
Maurice Walsh
16921 S Western Avenue
Gardena, CA 90247
310-329-8222 Ext.#25

Get Flipped
Helena Pasquarella
Director of Smiles
806 E Almond Avenue
Orange, CA 92866

Brant Bender Photography
Brant Bender
13330 Paseo Del Verano
San Diego, CA 92128

Kathy Wright & Co.
Kathy Wright
7525 Metropolitan Drive, #305
San Diego, CA 92108

A/V and Lighting
Presentation Services
Abraham Bronzwaig
5300 Grand Del Mar Court
San Diego, CA 92130

Wayne Foster Music and Entertainment
Bonnie Foster
1940 Kellogg Avenue
Carlsbad, CA 92008

Furniture Rentals
kool. Party Rentals
Anthony Griffin
4360 Morena Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92118

Sensational Treats
Mike Hogan
5173 Waring Road #3
San Diego CA 92120

Invitations and Printing
Simply Posh Design
Jennifer Dailard
9024 Madison Avenue
La Mesa, CA 91941




Why are some people in the industry so secretive about pricing? Many times we hear, "All my fees are custom-tailored to the couple's specific needs, so I don't put my fee structure out there."


Everyone has a starting point or a "happy price," which is the minimum fee for which one feels happy about taking on a project or client.

When we are not honestly transparent about our fees . . .

We make it difficult for colleagues to refer clients to us.

We surrender our ability to educate brides about true wedding costs.

We run the risk of losing a bride to somebody else who is transparent.

We lose the opportunity to share with a bride just what makes us different from somebody else.

We leave ourselves open to discounting, at our convenience, or out of fear, which not only hurts our own business in the long run, but other's in the industry as well.

How do you share your pricing? Your starting price, only? Your entire fee structure? Or, do you not share at all? Why? Why not? How does your individual pricing affect the others in the industry?

What do you do and what do you think? WIPA wants to know.


If you have an idea or story to share, tell us about it! 

WIPA, we need your input to tell us what you and your colleagues are discussing so we can bring it to the forefront at WIPA meetings and address it together as WIPA professionals. You matter, your feedback matters so we can educate our wedding industry, other event professionals, and most importantly, educate brides and the media as to what we have to say in accordance with our vision and mission and core values!  We can't wait to hear from you! Please email your "Hot Topic Ideas" to your Education Director, Tracey Kumer Moore at