by Kaley Campbell – Office & Events Manager WPIC
WOW. Let me start off by saying the Art Gallery of Ontario was an absolutely perfect venue for the upscale conference that was The Cultural Wedding Summit. From the second we opened the AGO doors, we were blown away. The staff went above and beyond for the attendees of the Summit. With Jennifer Prince as our AGO Event Coordinator, we knew the whole day would be smooth sailing.
The Cultural Wedding Summit opened the “doors” (well… the elevator) at 9:30 as there were already attendees lined up waiting for the day to start. The guests got a chance to get some well needed Sunday morning coffee into the system, while chatting with speakers, vendors, and other guests. If you got a chance to try the poached quail eggs that morning, they were to DIE for! Michael Coombs of Michael Coombs Entertainment was there bright and early in his DJ booth, helping us start the day right. Michael was the DJ and MC for the day. His music selections fit the energy of the Summit perfectly.
Now on to the seminars. Rebecca Chan of Rebecca Chan Events was first. Rebecca shared her wealth of knowledge on how to get the high-end Chinese client. She also shared the need-to-know elements that couples expect for their luxurious Chinese wedding.
Next up was Vicki Singh. Vicki is a seasoned South Asian Wedding planner and has experience from planning high end South Asian Weddings around the globe. Vicki shared some tips on topics you need to consider when you plan a South Asian Wedding, especially if you are planning weddings outside of Canada. Vicki also gave every attendee a copy of The Cultural Wedding Planner book!
After Vicki wrapped up, The Puro Mexico Folklorico Ballet came in and WOWED us with an amazing performance of traditional Mexican folk dance. The Puro Mexico Folklorico Dancers definitely pulled out the stops. From vibrant dresses to traditional Mexican knife dancing, they had us all out of our seats.
While the dancers filed out, Anna Cruz of Ana Cruz Events the keynote speaker, came in to keep all the attendees on their toes. Flown in from Miami, Anna came with a killer seminar on how she plans Destination Weddings. With Anna being one of the biggest event planners in the country, this seminar was filled with valuable information for all attendees to apply to their businesses.
With our minds jam packed with new information, we all continued to the dining area for a “Taste of Mexico!” Tacos, Esquites, Pappas con chorizo; I can’t even pick my favorite part of this amazing meal. The tables were beautifully and tastefully decorated with fresh and vibrant floral arrangements provided by Bella Chic Events. With some attendees still eating, others decided to take advantage of some of the amazing vendor booths that were set up in the main foyer.
Pop-Up VR had set up two 360 virtual reality stations for attendees to experience virtual reality first hand. Andrews Formals set up an amazing display of some of the hottest styles of the season. The Henna Artists came and shared their beautiful artwork on attendees’ hands; as I write this I still have beautiful henna designs on my right hand.
After the lunch break, we all were ready to dive into the next seminar: Bringing culture to destinations. This seminar was led by the lovely Monica Caesar of Aisle Plan Your Day. Monica flew in from Edmonton to share her extensive knowledge on the logistics of planning a Cultural Destination Wedding. Monica shared tips for facing all the hidden challenges planning Cultural Destination Weddings entail, while also educating us on her personal experience in the field.
Sinthia Gawlak – Travel Only – was up next. Sinthia, SVP, Sales & Marketing of TravelOnly Inc, brought wonderful information on how attendees can make more money within their existing businesses. Who wouldn’t want to hear that? Sinthia, with the work that she does for TravelOnly, was the perfect person to educate us all on adding Travel Services to Destination Weddings.
After Sinthia’s seminar it was time for a little snack (for those who had any room left over from lunch), some further mix and mingle with the vendors, and then we were right back into the conference.
Jennifer Prince, Event Logistics for AGO, did a wonderful seminar on hosting events at the Art Gallery of Ontario. With the AGO having such a variety of spaces one can use for functions, it is the perfect building to host any sort of event.
Last but not least; Susana Moreno, From the Mexico Tourism Board showed us some spectacular footage of Weddings in Mexico. Susana spoke about the beauty, diversity, and flexibility that Mexico has to offer.
Producers, Danielle Andrews and Tracey Manailescu of WPIC Inc. wrapped the day up by thanking everyone at the AGO, the fabulous sponsors, the speakers, and of course the attendees. We also had some amazing door prizes to a few lucky attendees: Tux rentals from Andrews Formals, a ticket to the 2017 WPIC Kick Off, and a $2000 Hard Rock Wedding Package.
I want to make a special shout-out to FireDog Creative for being the best AV provider ever. We had so much fun working with these guys and they made the event go off without a hitch!
All the photos shown here were captured by the amazing team at Brightside Films! Brightside Films was the perfect choice for our photography/videography needs.
We can’t wait until the next event!