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Submitted by Sharon Dexmier
Napa Valley Linens
2011 WIPA Vice President

“The things that will destroy us are: politics without principle; pleasure without conscience; wealth without work; knowledge without character; business without morality; science without humanity; and worship without sacrifice.”

  - Mohandas K. Gandhi


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August Meeting Highlights
Ralston Hall Mansion,
Belmont, CA.

Photos: JK Life Stories


Pauline Parry
Good Gracious! Events
2010-2011 WIPA President


At the beginning of this month I was in Kentucky with the International Caterers Association at its master culinary conference. While there, the group went to Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby. We got a behind-the-scenes tour and were able to feel what it is like to be in the Winner’s Circle.

The irony wasn’t lost on me that although we were able to easily walk right into this area, it’s certainly not easy for the horses and riders who make it there on Derby Day! Their journey to the Winner’s Circle takes years of hard work, but it also takes innovation and inspiration. This was the message that speaker David Merrell brought to us earlier this month at our program in Northern California. And because this journey also requires the right mindset, the psychology of winning is the topic to be discussed at our September 8 which will be presented by Daniela Ferdico Faget at the beautiful Palm Event Center in Pleasanton.

Daniela, who has a doctorate in neuropsychology and is now the owner of one of the nation’s top floral design firms, will discuss the psychology of winning as it pertains to the wedding professional. She’ll also take us into the mind of the bride and we’ll find out what it takes to first win the business then win over the bride and her family along with all their preconceived notions of what the day is to be.

And then there is our own psychology to consider. We are constantly struggling to win over our own limitations, fears and insecurities that come up each time we tackle a new challenge. Certainly, there never is an easy answer for this or – to put it in wedding terms – the journey to the Winner’s Circle is no cake walk!

A horse race may only last two minutes, but like any goal we set, winning it takes a lifetime of focus, training, brilliance, and of course, the passion of a champion.

See you in the Winner’s Circle!

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



The Psychology of Selling Weddings

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Palm Event Center in the Vineyard
Beets Hospitality Group
Michelle Pangrazio
1184 Vineyard Avenue
Pleasanton, CA 94566


11:00 AM Registration, Cocktails, Hors D’oeuvres and Entertainment
12 Noon – 1:15 PM Speaker Presentation
1:15 PM Luncheon 
2:15 “Face to Face" – a time to connect, meet and share ideas on the speaker’s topic

Driving Directions
Click here for detailed driving directions.
(then click on map & driving directions at the bottom of the page)


Non-Member Fees are:
$55 By September 1
$70 After September 1

Members Fees are:
$40 By September 1
$55 After September 1


The Psychology of Selling Weddings
Whether it is photography, the perfectly planned wedding, or stunning decor, selling your artistic services can be deceivingly difficult. For most of our clients, their wedding is a very emotionally laden, one-time experience. Are you really hearing them, or merely listening? How can you communicate with them in a way that assures them that you HEAR them, and that you have the ability to create for them what they want, even if they themselves don't always know what they want?

With a basic understanding of several cognitive processes, anyone can improve their consultations, communications, and return on investment to the client. In this session, you will get into your client's head (and brain) to learn how he or she perceives the information you present to them.

In this session you will learn:

How visual elements - graphic and written – affect people differently than auditory information


Get a crash course on “Basic Neuro-anatomy” and learn how this factors into how clients process information


Discover what effect other people (bridesmaids, mother of the bride, etc.) have on a client during a consultation


And learn about the quality and quantity of choices to present to your clients

Daniela Ferdico Faget

Daniela Ferdico Fagét earned her doctorate in Psychology, with an emphasis in Neuropsychology, in 1999. Her education in cognition has been critical in helping her understand how people make decisions, how their language indicates what they want, and what they are afraid of.

After a dramatic career change, she is now the owner of Bella Signature Design, a floral and design firm based in Seattle, Washington. And she has used all she learned studying neuropsychology to build a successful company!

Combining her left brain with her right has made her consultations a win-win for her and her clients – she is able to truly see the outcome the client wants to see, even when the client has no idea what they want. The knowledge of the cognitive decision making process helps her alter her consultation based on the client's language and behavior. Dr. Fagét is excited to introduce the idea of bringing neuroscience into not only the event industry, but any industry where artists and clients interact. Recently she was a featured speaker at Engage 11 at The Grand Del Mar, San Diego.


Non-Member Fees are:
$55 By September 1
$70 After September 1

Members Fees are:
$40 By September 1
$55 After September 1


Venue and Catering
Palm Event Center in the Vineyard
Beets Hospitality Group
Michelle Pangrazio
1184 Vineyard Avenue
Pleasanton, CA 94566

BBJ Linen
Michelle Green
2728 S. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034
310.204.0363 x62205

Pleasanton Rentals
Cherie Marini
7066- A Commerce Circle
Pleasanton, CA 94588

Jessamyn Photography
Jessamyn Picton
260 Ilene Drive
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

Ingela Floral Design
Ingela Ruschin
200 Dillon Avenue, Unit C
Campbell, CA 95008

An Elegant Touch of Strings
Siverry Lewis
285 Robinwood Avenue
Oakley, CA 94561

Invitation and Graphic Design
Christine Traulich
201 Old Nottingham Road
Epping, NH 03042

Audio Visual/DJ/Videography
Fantasy Sound Event Services
Kevin Dennis, JWIC
345 Stealth Court
Livermore, CA 94551

Thank you to our co-chairs for this event:
Kimberly Roberts, LVL Weddings & Event
Sharon Dexmier, Napa Valley Linens

LVL Weddings & Events
Kimberly Roberts

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



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!”

Marianne Lozano
Marianne Lozano Photography
938 20th Street, #6
Santa Monica, CA 90403
Phone: 310.801.4434

Marianne Lozano is an international award winning photographer. Her work has been published in various wedding magazines and she travels extensively for weddings. Her reportage style of photographing weddings truly captures the essence and beauty of the day. Her images are spontaneous, detailed and soulful.


Written by: Joyce Scardina Becker, CMP
Events of Distinction
WIPA Founding Sponsor and First President

New WIPA member Carrie Gemme is proud to announce that TGIS Catering recently became the exclusive caterer at The University Synagogue in Irvine, as well as at The Lakewood Sycamore Plaza.  TGIS Catering is also planning to have Open House Celebrations at these locations in the near future.  Details to be announced.

On July 27, the International Special Events Society’s LA Chapter conducted its annual installation and awards gala at Pandora on Green in Pasadena.  Leonard Neil, Owner of Leonard Neil    Productions was presented with the “ISES Member of the Year” Award.  To kick off the awards ceremony, Leonard also sponsored a great Frank Sinatra impersonator who aptly reflected the theme of the festivities -“Come Fly With Me”.

In the cover story for the July/August issue of Special Events Magazine, WIPA members David Merrell with AOO Events, Joann Roth-Oseary with Someone’s in the Kitchen, and Joyce Scardina Becker, CMP with Events of Distinction are featured among “The Event Industry’s Influentials,” cited by Editor Lisa Hurley as having “…changed the landscape in the event industry.”

Congratulations to the following WIPA members who received Esprit Awards from the International Special Events Society, presented as a grand finale to the ISES Eventworld Conference:

  • Larry Green, Rentals Unlimited – Best ISES Team Effort ($75,000 - $200,000)
  • David Merrell, AOO Events – Best Event for a Non-Profit Organization (Over $200,000) and Best Wedding (Over $200,000)
  • Moises Navarro, Hartmann Studios – Best ISES Team Effort (Over $200,000)

  • Joyce Scardina Becker, Events of Distinction – Best Event Design/Décor (Under $25,000)


Written by: Sharon Dexmier
Napa Valley Linens
2011 WIPA Vice President

Innovation and Inspiration

The Victorian architecture and décor of the lovely Ralston Mansion in Belmont, California, set the tone for this month’s meeting. From the delicate etched glass entry doors, to the massive crystal chandeliers that sparkled from the gilded ceilings of the pastel ballroom, the venue allowed us to take a graceful step back to an elegant era.

Kathy Goodman of Well-Rehearsed lent WIPA one of her new “Painted Ladies” centerpieces for the escort table. Kathy has developed several centerpieces depicting famous sites of San Francisco and what could be more emblematic of the city than those lovely Victorian row houses?

Soft, lilting jazz vocals sung by Pamela Joy Jazz greeted the guests and put everyone in a convivial mood as they mingled among the authentic Victorian furnishings.

Guests were seated in the ballroom for lunch at stylish tables dressed in blush Ankara paisley linens provided by Napa Valley Linens. Soft pastel flower arrangements in milk and mercury glass containers by Soulflower Floral Design, and menu cards designed by The Card Lady and embellished with blush lace enhanced the look. Da Vinci china, stemware, and flatware provided by Stuart Rentals were rich in gold design as was the style of the day. Kevin Chin provided videography and JK Life Stories provided photography. Enhanced Lighting provided lighting and sound.

The guest speaker was David Merrell of AOO Events and his topic was “Blurring the Lines between Social and Corporate Events.”  Who better than David, an accomplished planner in both areas, to explain the differences in marketing to the two types of clientele? Not only did he provide the attendees with concise tips for tailoring their marketing message to the right audience, he also revealed his keen ability to reinvent himself and his company when tough economic times hit the event business.

I was most struck by his mantra, which he calls the “90/10 rule.” In life, and business, the 10% represents what happens to you. How you respond is 90% of the equation. As I see it, David responds to whatever comes his way with tenacity, creativity, and optimism. David’s session was taped and will be up soon on the WIPA website,

For dessert, charming vignettes of parlor furniture provided by Milk Glass Vintage Rentals, was the perfect setting in which to enjoy the treats provided by True Confections. It was a genteel ending to a lovely, summer day with WIPA!



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, Liese Gardner at



Thursday, September 8, 2011 – Palm Event Center, Livermore
September 20, 2011 – Santa Anita Racetrack, Arcadia, Southern California, Joint ISES/WIPA meeting
Tuesday, October 4, 2011– Beaulieu Garden, Rutherford
Tuesday, November 1, 2011– Crevier Classic Cars, Speaker: Lara McCulloch, Ready2Spark