MARCH 2010


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Submitted by Mary Lallande
  "I am thankful for the mess to clean after a party because it means I have been surrounded by friends." 
  - Nancie J. Carmody


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Pauline Parry
2010 WIPA President

Looking through the latest wedding magazines this weekend, my eyes came to rest on the photo of a wedding party. It made me think of two things -- how amazing it is that we create events that literally bring two families together as one and this happens over and over in every part of the world every single day.

But it’s not just weddings that do this. Any type of union brings people from different backgrounds together and each new “family” has its own chemistry and even set of unspoken rules. From my newfound position in WIPA I can see that we are like that wedding party – brought together by a common love. And like every family, we have our roles to play to make it work.

In a perfect world, the wedding planner would be the head of the family, taking responsibility to communicate, delegate and ultimately make each person of the team shine. But this is not always a perfect world and sometimes roles become blurred. While it’s not wrong for a member of the family to spread his or her wings (in fact, in healthy families, this is encouraged), timing and education are everyhing.

Things run most smoothly when we perform the job for which we are hired. Then, if we want to explore something new, we take the time to get the education and experience necessary to do so. This is where WIPA comes in, offering insight into and higher education on a wide variety of wedding professions. Educational programs and interaction with other members are great guides that I urge you to follow.

What I hope to see as we go forward into a year in which the economy is still uncertain is that we learn to work together while observing the boundaries of our own professions. And if and when we want to branch out, seek the proper training and mentors that will teach us how to be the best we can be in these new roles.

In this way, I hope that the lasting image in the album of our lives is that of a professional wedding party in which we are ALL part of one big happy family!

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




Tuesday, April 6, 2010

1401 South Oak Knoll Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91106
T: 626-568-3900 F: 626-568-3700

Schedule of Events
11:30 – 12:00 Registration & Beverages
12:00 Speaker/Presentation
1:00 -1:45 Seated Lunch
1:45-2:30 SIG/Coffee & Desserts 
(*SIG-Special Interest Groups... this is YOUR chance to meet with others in the same discipline as yourself and discuss issues pertinent to your discipline within the wedding industry.  Voice your concerns; give input that can be used to inform the industry and the public!)

This presentation will give you tools and insights that will inspire you to feel more gratitude, higher self esteem and ultimately live a better, more productive and authentic life for you, not for others. By living a more balanced life you will have more time to give to those you love, more energy for work and increase the possibility for more restful nights.

Mary Dann-McNamee
Mary Dann Wedding and Party Coordinators

As one of the most sought-after wedding planners in Southern California, Mary Dann-McNamee has been responsible for creative and compassionate wedding and event planning since 1991. Mary holds a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology and was a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Intern for 10 years. Her passion for the industry has led her down many paths, including becoming a contributing writer for Inside Weddings & Ceremony. She has a been the on-air talent for the nationally syndicated television show "Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?" as well as WE Network’s “Platinum Weddings”! Dann-McNamee is a notable speaker, mentor and career counselor to event professionals world-wide. She launched her gifts and stationery line, which includes, The Mary Dann Collection: Gratitude Notes and custom created "Wedding Wands". Mary has also produced two DVD’s: "The Wedding Planner Path" and the "The Balanced Planner” and is the co-author of the newly released book “WEDDING WISDOM.” and twitter: @marydann



Non-Member Fees Are:
$55 By March 30
$70 After March 30
Click here to Register

Member Fees Are:
$40 By March 30
$55 After March 30
Click here to Register


The Langham Huntington, Pasadena
Jill Hilts
Director of Catering Sales
1401 South Oak Knoll Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91106

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

Laura Christin Photography
Laura Christin
4617 50th street
San Diego, CA 92115

Caricature Artist
Caricatures by Dave
Dave Stephens
1742 Bonneyville Drive
Spring Valley, CA 91977
619 807-7287

Events of Distinction
Joyce Scardina Becker, CMP
41 Heather Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94118

Luna Gardens
Ricardo Luna
9062 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90035

Joe Park Weddings
Joe Park
4831 Monroe Avenue
San Diego, CA 92115

11H Entertainment
Steven Muchnij
3835R East Thousand Oaks Blvd., #233
Westlake Village, CA 91362



Joyce Scardina Becker, CMP
Events of Distinction

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

In the world of weddings, change is the norm.  Tying the knot has never been easier, but tracking the newest options can be head-spinning.  So here are five hip tips and sneak peeks about what lies ahead for this year’s nuptials.

1. Picking the Perfect Place and Time

Just as people are now choosing to go on “staycations” with their time off, brides and grooms are carefully considering the pocketbooks of their guests, and are selecting sites in their neck of the woods in lieu of distant destination weddings.  The newest urban hotspots are rooftop gardens offering al fresco event space.  Often required by City Planning Departments when approving building permits, these outdoor oases can be found in commercial buildings, as well as the newest hotels.

Although Saturday evenings will always be a preferred time for brides and grooms to host their weddings, WIPA member Linda Hylen, Director of Events at the Julia Morgan Ballroom in San Francisco remarks, “I am really selling Fridays and a few Thursdays as well.”  Unlike outdoor venues with strict county noise ordinances to end music by 10:00 p. m. (or sometimes even 9:00 p.m.), eco-friendly restaurants and night clubs attract the night owls who love a great party.  These facilities often offer private dining or modest buy-outs, especially on off nights. 

Couples will continue to consult the calendar for auspicious days to tie the knot.  Remember the bridal bonanza back on 7-7-07?  Luckily for brides, that jackpot-winning date landed on a Saturday.  This year, couples are betting on 10-10-10 as a favorable day for wedded bliss!  WIPA member and Wedding Planner Merliee Hennings, with Ever After Events in San Diego, finds that couples also pick lucky dates based on personal circumstances, such as “getting married on the date they were engaged or getting married on a parent’s anniversary.”

2. Transforming Dreams into Designs

The word “trend” does not appear here, because the trade secret to finding a “trendy” wedding design does not come from following the latest fads, but from capturing the bride and groom’s unique personalities.  No bride wants her wedding to look like someone else’s.  It’s up to you to be the creative genius and convert her dreams into a workable plan.  Find inspiration points with your client, shape their visions and use all five senses to reveal the wedding day experience.  Most important, tell the couple to keep it a secret – don’t reveal the plan to their family and friends, keep guests on the edge of their seats throughout the planning process and on the wedding day.  Brides have an insatiable appetite for what’s new, and while they may be more selective in their purchases, they are inspired by great ideas from wedding professionals. 

3. Embracing Color

Escapism, Saturated and Bold are words that come to mind as color lifts the spirit for weddings in 2010.  It’s a new decade after all!  Put together extraordinary and unexpected color combinations…be daring.  Here are some palettes to ponder:

  • Turquoise with Amparo Blue (bright, energetic blue) and a shot of Orange
  • Turquoise with Copper and a splash of  Seafoam Mint and Spray Whites 
  • Coral paired with a Aurora Yellow and Dover Silver
  • Tomato Puree (this Spring’s new red) with fuchsia and purples
  • A pale, cool palette of Violet, Lavender, Deeper Hues of Purple and Opulent Gold Accessories

Everyone loves a splash of color and there’s no better way to do this then by clearly dividing your space.  Approach designing a wedding like an interior decorator designs rooms in a home.  From ceremony to cocktails to dinner and the after-party, each room represents a transition of space, having its own personal identity, so no two rooms need to be all the same colors, same linens and same flowers.  Glam up tabletop designs with color glass stones and broaches.

4. Sensational Ceremonies

Not all couples marry in a house of worship, so there are ways to make the ceremony design unique and personal other than the traditional church pews for seating.  You can create seating in the “round” or “square” with the wedding couple and officiant in the center.  There are so many options in various colors and sizes of chairs, cushions, chair caps and liners to chose from.  For a beach theme wedding, consider benches with cushions.  Or on a large, lush lawn, try a spiral circle of ottomans…oh so Zen!

5. Sweet Dreams

Cutting the wedding cake will always remain a nuptial tradition, but other imaginative ways abound for giving guests their just desserts.  Melons Catering in South San Francisco creates a fabulous “All Things Chocolate Station” which includes every imaginable form of chocolate – ice cream, truffles, mousse parfait, hot chocolate shots, macaroons, paired with dark chocolate martinis – even the tabletop surface is made of chocolate! 

At a recent wedding I produced with Paula LeDuc Fine Catering, we added a twist to the typical menu presentation to provide a tasty conclusion to the festivities.  Instead of serving all the hors d’oeuvres at the cocktail reception and all the desserts at the dessert buffet, we decided to butler-pass little “Good Night Treats” – farewell fare for guests to munch on while they waited for their valet-parked cars.  Waitstaff graciously offered a choice of mini-burgers on slider rolls with balsamic onions, ketchup & mustard; or waffle ice cream cones filled with raspberry sorbet, rich chocolate gelato and vanilla bean ice cream.  Bottled waters to go were placed in each car by the valet parking attendants.

While the lavishness may continue to be curtailed in 2010 wedding celebrations, you can be sure there will be no decline in creativity.  Couples will continue to tie the knot, and imaginative new ideas will continue to make wedding celebrations fascinating and joyful.


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!"

Amanda Harris
Elaine Bell Catering

Elaine Bell and fine food are synonymous in Northern California. An alumna and former board member for the Culinary Institute of America, Elaine Bell's love for food and wine is the driving passion behind everything we do at Elaine Bell Catering. A Sonoma Valley native, Elaine was part of the revolution that made the Northern California wine country one of the top culinary destinations in the world.

Beverly Pamensky-Murray
Dreamworld Backdrops

DreamWorld Backdrops is an International company with over 35 years experience designing and painting lightweight backdrops.  We have thousands of our hand painted, airbrushed and digital themed backdrops designed to cater for any once in a life time celebrations.  Our office in California offers personalized service and we are proud of the quality of our product. Our backdrops can be shipped door to door to any location in North America and World Wide.

Jamie Ehrsam
Estate Wedding and Events

We specialize in hosting weddings and special events at multi-million dollar private estates located throughout California.  We offer everything from catering and florals, to event production and coordination.  Each event is tailored just for the client.

Katja Heinsch
Tri-Valley, CA Convention and Visitors Bureau

The TVCCVB is the destination sales and marketing organization for the Cities of Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin, San Ramon, the Town of 
Danville, and the surrounding region.  Our purpose is to stimulate 
economic growth and tourism in the Tri-Valley region by developing and marketing the destination to the meetings, leisure travel, thus 
wedding and social markets.

Annie Ngo
Palm Event Center in the Vineyard

Elegantly situated in the Livermore wine valley and wrapped by expansive, verdant vines, the Palm is a luxurious winery estate perfect for any wedding.

Sarah Kern Possick, CWP
Events of Distinction
Malibu, California
310-463-6520 or 1-866-99-EVENT
Offices in Northern & Southern California

Internationally acclaimed for innovative design and meticulous planning, Events of Distinction is the winner of 10 international GALA and Esprit awards. In a world where outdated rules are vanishing, Events of Distinction stands out as visionary designers with a captivating flair. From custom designed invitations to spectacular tablescapes, from sumptuous decor to tantalizing banquets, fulfilling even the unanticipated needs of our clients, creating an all-sensory experience.


Michelle Nowak
Brilliant Studios LA

Michelle Nowak
Brilliant Studios LA

Sunny San Diego welcomed WIPA attendees March 2nd at the sensational Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa! What a gorgeous day for a lunch on the Croquet Lawn filled with warm friends, swanky music, colorful table décor, and fruit smoothies to quench your thirst. The salmon salad was delicious and the desserts were divine!  The educational portion of the event introduced keynote speaker & renowned photographer, Will Henshall with Will Henshall Photography, who gave guests wonderful tips on how to capture the magic you create at your events!

When working with a wedding photographer it’s very important that pre-planning and communication is properly organized, so that all vendors and bridal party requests are in a win-win situation! Highlighted are a few key points to incorporate when hiring and working with a photographer, to assure you get your product shots as well as all the guest shots accomplished…

  • Educate your client on the best way to capture memories of the photography service they paid for, understand the package and the coverage that’s scheduled is sufficient time to capture extent of the event

  • Appointing someone to gather family/friends for portraits will help stick to the timeline.

  • Try to time ceremony 2 hrs before sunset to get best golden hour of natural light! Scheduling the bride & groom photos before the ceremony if possible will also help capture the best light.

  • Additional photographs needed by vendors should be predetermined in a “Product Shot List” so time is allocated to maximize services and detail shots.  Assign someone from your team to focus and alert room/staff/vendors to adjust to photographer timeline

  • Remember editorial style is more about feeling and commercial style is more literal, communicate with photographer what you’re trying to achieve with images (i.e. editorial use, magazine ads, portfolio work, etc.)

  • If event is up for potential award, it’s best to hire a separate photographer to shoot production

  • A photo credit is not a fair trade for set of production images, but a client referral is

  • Having the photographer attend the rehearsal can solve a lot of problems up front

Will also clued guests in to a few easy tips on how you can shoot great photos yourself by remembering just a few simple things…Set camera on a tripod, set the timer, backlight the product, turn the flash off, and shoot!

The event came to a close with a lovely tour of the property to see what guests experience in their exquisite room suites, all while enjoying the gorgeous scenery and tranquil ambience the Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa provides.


Rancho Valencia
Lauren Finley
5921 Valencia Circle
Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067
Concepts Event Design
Haydee Alderete
436 West 8th Street, Suite D
National City, CA 91950

Lucero Photography
Jeremy Lucero
304 W. Harbor Blvd, Suite 314A
Fullerton, CA 92832

Ashely Video
Marc Lehman
11956 Bernardo Plaza Dr. #205
San Diego, CA 92128

Artquest Floral
Arturo Marquez Garcia
3046 North Park Way,
San Diego, CA 92104

The Troubadours Band
Robyn Groen
5475 Coral Reef Ave.,
La Jolla, CA 92037

Audio Visual
Events by Design
John Gillon

Menu Cards/ Programs
Rock Paper Scissors Design
Rachel Baker
1672 Trenton Way,
San Marcos, CA 92078

Gourmet Coffee
Joes on the Nose – Organic Espresso Catering
David Wasserman

The Crumb Runner Cookie Company
Andi Whitaker Waggle
4750 East Mountain View Drive
San Diego, CA 92116



Congratulations to the following WIPA Members, who have won an award from The Special Event in New Orleans this past January:

Joyce Scardina Becker, CMP of Events of Distinction won a Gala Award for "Best Event Produced For A Private Individual"

Lena Malouf, Event & Design Consultant won the Life Time Achievement Award



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