Tracey Manailescu shares the first WPIC Wedding and Event Design Certification Course at Bright Lights event venue Toronto.

You talk about the wedding styles being affected by trends and influences in the various design industries. What are some of the ways having professional training allows for a planner to be proficient at meeting their clients vision?

Having professional training is crucial to setting yourself up for success.  The wedding and event world are highly competitive,and individuals need to have things that sets them apart from the rest. Knowing what is cutting edge in trends, business ethics and techniques makes a designer’s business more productive, enriched and professional. Proper tried and true forms, contracts and templates that are used in real life are provided to each student.

What was your process for choosing which elements of the design and planning process to include in the Wedding and Event Designer course?

The Wedding and Event Designer certification course is fiveweeks in duration.  (The in-class portion is for two days.) Now the students must read the course manual on their own time and complete a very detailed assignment which includes building their business plan, business templates, a design proposal, timelines, and present a hands-on design set up to us following criteria provided to them.

What about the two-day portion of the course were you most pleased to see happen?

We really feel that the hands-on draping and sketching portion was crucial to the learning environment.  Students were able to learn new draping techniques and then try it themselves in small individual groups. This took up the afternoon portion of the first day. The sketching portion was a fabulous learning experience, because the instructor walked the class through his sketching process that he uses in his client meetings and then students followed.

The sketching is a way to show clients the vision on paper, and not just verbally. This allows the designer to show the thought process and how design will be implemented into the result.

” Mandy of Khazana Creations Inc shared her incredible draping skills and taught us various draping techniques (as well as tips/tricks and things to avoid). We had four stations to work with so each person was able to try out their draping skills in a small group of five.” WPIC

How do you set the curriculum for what core skill set a wedding professional should have such as colour theory and the ability to sketch out the design plans?

It really comes down to the expectations of the client. Clients are coming to a Wedding & Event Designer with a need for something that they cannot provide themselves, or even know what is available to them in the design world.

They want the expert to be an expert and to provide guidance and expertise. We put ourselves in the seat of a client and what we would expect from the Designer. We know that we will keep adding and implementing skills to our curriculum as the course grows over time, and of course past students will get the updates.

At WPIC we pride ourselves on providing business skills to take you further faster. Administration and business-related tools are things that can be forgotten and overlooked in a creative business, and we strongly believe in its importance for lasting success. Behind the scenes grunt work is what builds the foundation for a strong and profitable business.

The WPIC does an excellent job of communicating the need for professional wedding planners in the event industry and how this training can specifically elevate the quality of the event experience. What are some of the ways the WPIC accomplishes this?

Ongoing support within the WPIC Alumni Association, continuous learning opportunities with our bi-monthly events and staying current with the laws and legalities in the wedding industry are so important to us. We have very high expectations of our alumni and their continued education, and it shows in the professionalism in which WPIC alumni are known for.

All events require on some level a co-ordination and partnership among professionals. How does the WPIC help build effective strategies for these collaborations and in addition help facilitate professional connections within the industry?

Building strong and lasting relationships is key to success.Communication is crucial.

We have built many connections around the world and so have our alumni. Sharing this information with each other is a great way to get to know tried and true experts.  Reputable and professional partners are what make a team trustworthy and provide confidence and assurances to everyone involved.

Bright Lights is a modern open concept venue. How did the setting facilitate the communication of the course material?

Bright Lights is a fabulous space and was perfect for our needs! It is a gorgeous open concept space that can be transformed into anything that you want it to be. We used the Green House for our classroom and lectures.

We used the main room for our lunch and breaks, and the far end of the room was used for our draping set-ups which required a ton of space since we had four set-ups so everyone could try their hand at draping. The space was conducive to a great learning atmosphere and the staff were truly wonderful.

Paras Mehta of Paras Events has had extensive experience speaking at events and sharing his knowledge internationally. How do you see these specific skills manifest their importance in a five-week design course? What informed your decision to work with Paras Mehta of Paras Events on this event design certification course?

Paras has been WPIC certified since 2004. He has been a very active member within WPIC over the years, and continues to offer guidance and support, and now we are thrilled to have him work with us in a professional capacity. We first discussed this course with Paras about eight years ago and the timing just wasn’t right. We have watched him grow and establish himself as an industry expert in Canada, as well as internationally.

He is the perfect fit to add to the WPIC Team and we never considered anyone else.


The Wedding Planners Institute of Canada

Paras Mehta of Paras Events

Photography : Jolvi Photography

Bright Lights Event Venue

Khazana Creations Inc