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Thank You!

Posted By Karen N. Bohanon, Wednesday, February 23, 2011
This is a great course. I appreciate the fact that not only did I learn about wedding an event planning, I also learned alot about the business part of it. this course has helped me out tremendously. I look forward to taking other classes LWPI offers

Tags:  certification@weddingplanninginstitute.com 

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One door closes another opens

Posted By Deborah Schreck (Dunn), Monday, February 21, 2011

Deborah Schreck                                                                                                                              February 21,2011

One door closes, another opens

My wedding planning class is coming to a close and I must admit I wish it included a period of time for an apprenticeship. Our classroom work was mostly about meeting different venders and venues, which was great fun; but I wish I had more experience actually coordinating and directing a wedding so I could feel  more confident with my first client to be.

I found the LWPI book and the online course to be revealing, instructive and an excellent and useful source of information. My difficulty was in not being sure of what was expected from me for some of the assignments. Some of the them were simple while others were quite a huge undertaking, for example the media kit and the web site. I wish I was more proficient on the computer to have done a more professional job.

Another aspect I would’ve liked a little more information on is how to start up on becoming a vender in some of the things talked about to expand our business, but this class is a great class for showing you how to take matters into your own hands, research and make it happen. I guess that’s really what this class is all about, bringing people together who have this in common-making things happen. As a matter of fact that’s one of my favorite quotes, and when my ten year old son is on the football field, I’m the mom yelling out to the team "MAKE TI HAPPEN” so guys, lets all-make it Happen and good luck to you all!

Debbie

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Stepping out into the event scene

Posted By Madena R. Hilkey (Hilkey), Saturday, February 19, 2011
  I have always had a passion for events and designing in many aspects; clothes, home interior, events and weddings.  I took this course on a whim of wanting to do something that is going to "make me happy."  My now fiance (we just got engaged YAY), kept pushing me to do something that "I want to do."  He has always been supportive, so naturally when I randomly said, "I want to be an event planner!" His response was, let's get you certified.  I did some research on how to be certified and found out true and true that Lovegevity's Wedding Planning Institute (LWPI) was the way to go. 
  
  I started the course within two months, and loved every minute I spent in class and on our 'field trips.'  Michelle Bromley, the course instructor at ACC was such a big help.  She generally cared about all of our interests and was encouraging to each individual in the area she thought we would make good contribution to in the industry.  I actually miss meeting with our class and sharing ideas with all of my classmates.  

  I have been equipped with all of the information needed to start my event planning business, and am eagerly awaiting for the right moment to make my mark on the diverse Austin event industry scene.  Although I feel  ready to start my business with great success, I am still pursuing every angle of the steps needed to do so.  I want everything to be as flawless and seamless as possible. 
  Moving to a city where you know no one, and making a decision to open a business where networking is everything, is quite the hill to climb right away.  My background and experience in Las Vegas will surely prove to be a big help during this time.  I love to network and meet new people.  Getting my name out there and causing a 'hype' for my business to start is currently a work in progress.  

  Oh and might I remind you... I've got a wedding of my own to plan! I'll be my own 'bride-zilla' and go OCD on myself! =) I did make some really great friends in class while taking this course, so maybe a 'Day Of' planner will be just the service I'll need. =) 

Take care all & live out your dreams! 
xO,
Madena Rose

  

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Tags:  COURSE  event planner  wedding planner 

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LWPI Course

Posted By Jaclyn D. Baker, Thursday, February 17, 2011


My experience with the LWPI course has been extremely insightful and eye opening. While I originally enrolled in the course because I have a passion for weddings and organization, this course introduced me to so many aspects involved in planning an event that I never really even considered.


I loved the assignments that made us create a budget and weddings as if we were working with a real client and also all the book recommendations throughout the course. I think I bought all of them!! I loved this course and am hoping to enroll in Preston Bailey’s course next.

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Approaching the finish!

Posted By Rebekah Martindale, Wednesday, February 16, 2011
I can't believe I am nearly done with this course!

I have been very blessed by all of the education opportunities provided by this course. I learned so much going through each chapter and especially working through all of the assignments.

I took this class as an introduction into the wedding/event planning field, and honestly didn't expect to get as much out of it as I did. I definitely think you will get as much out of this course as you put it. You can glide through some of the assignments ant learn a lot, but if you really put all your effort into the assignments you will be much more prepared and set-up for your career outside of the class. I did have my struggles throughout the course though. I am currently finishing up my undergrad with a double major and looking into going into the wedding/event planning field. This course has been really challenging for me to fit into my schedule and complete all of the requirements in the 6 month time limit.

Also, many of the assignments, like the vendor lists and insurance estimates, etc, i found especially difficult because i didn't have the authority or credit as a student without my own business. Many vendors and businesses would not help me with any information for the assignments because I was not currently in business and therefore the assignments became difficult and strenuous.

I also wish I had the ability to see the assignments I had submitted and which had been graded in one particular location on the site because I am doing this purely online. That part had be frustrating at times, waiting to hear if they were submitted and if they were completed in the way that was expected. I'm extremely close to the end of my course and finishing submitting everything, hoping it all works out.

However, you learn the most from the things that are the most difficult and I'm excited to be finishing this course and going into the next steps in my career! For all those of you that are jsut starting or still struggling/working through the course, keep it up! You can make it! And we will all benefit in the end from the knowledge and skills gained here. Goodluck everyone!

Bekah M :)

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CHALLENGING YET VERY REWARDING EXPERIENCE

Posted By evangeline tesoro (bucaneg), Thursday, February 10, 2011
MY EXPERIENCE WITH WPI HAS BEEN CHALLENGING,EXCITING AND REWARDING. WHAT HAD MOTIVATED AND INSPIRED ME TO TAKE THE COURSE  ON WEDDING AND EVENT PLANNING WAS MY DEDICATION TO EXCELLENCE AND THE NEED TO OBTAIN AN ABSOLUTE KNOWLEDGE AND PROFESSIONALISM.
ALTHOUGH  IT WAS A STRUGGLE AT FIRST DOING AND SUBMITTING,CALLING AND VISITING VENDORS AND ESTABLISHMENTS, AND JOGGLING BETWEEN FAMILY,WORK,, NOT TO MENTION MY COMPUTER BROKE IN THE MIDDLE OF IT ALL. YOU CAN JUST IMAGINE MY ANXIETY AND PANIC THE WHOLE TIME THINKING I LOST ALL THE DATA ON MY FILE WAS THE MOST STRESSFUL TIME DURING THIS COURSE. BUT , GOD IS GOOD BECAUSE  THROUGH IT ALL EVERYTHING IS INTACT (EXCEPT ME AT ONE POINT)AND  ABLE TO CONTINUE THIS COURSE. THERE WERE ASSIGNMENTS THAT HAD BROUGHT SMILES,TEARS OF JOY,MEMORIES AND SO MUCH IDEAS IN ME AND MADE ME REALIZE,"VANGIE, THIS IS WHAT YOU LOVE ,THIS WHO YOU ARE, YOU ARE VERY GOOD AT THIS...THIS IS IT! IT'S YOUR TIME AND  MAKE THINGS HAPPEN".
NOW, I AM ALMOST DONE WITH THE COURSE,AND THE KNOWLEDGE LEARNED FROM STARTING TO RUNNING THIS INDUSTRY  WILL BETTER PREPARE ME TO FACE ANY CHALLENGE AND OFFER THE BEST SERVICES TO COUPLES /PEOPLE THAT WILL SEEK MY EXPERTISE IN THIS FIELD.
THANK YOU LWPI FOR SUCH RUNNING A INFORMATIVE ,COURSE. MORE POWER.

EVANGELINE TESORO

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Tags:  certification@weddingplanninginstitute.com  COURSE 

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my creations

Posted By evangeline tesoro (bucaneg), Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Updated: Thursday, February 10, 2011
Baking cakes and cupcakes are some of my passion and presentation for me is very important. Because a nicely presented product makes it more appealing and it captures curiosity and attention. I baked the cupcakes and made the  wrapper myself with the help of my sister-in-law for her daughter's dedication.

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Tags:  creativity  DE  DESS 

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What's Going On at LWPI?

Posted By Abby Langston, Wednesday, February 2, 2011
This is an exciting week at LWPI! There are lots of ways to get involved and check out what's new.

* Have you joined the conversation on Facebook? Today we're talking about ways to help brides stretch their wedding budgets, but in a creative way. What ideas do you have to share?

* Just one more day until Preston Bailey's Midtown Class starts! Have you registered? Do it today! Preston will demonstrate how you can plan and execute an event that is sure to leave a lasting impression.

* The LWPI Blog is going strong today with a guest post from instructor Shafonne Myers, who writes about the most important part of wedding planning: THE BUDGET.

* And last but not least, the January 2011 LWPI newsletter went out a few days ago. Did you get your copy? Sign up here!

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Wagner College Instructor Highlighted on Staten Island Blog

Posted By Abby Langston, Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Congrats to Melissa Mortimer, the owner of Lavish Occasions and an LWPI instructor! She recently graduated five new certified wedding and event planners, and she was profiled on the blog SILive.com. According to the blog:

Ms. Mortimer finished the course by presenting a site visit of one of her favorite venues, Nicotra’s Ballroom at the Hilton. "This part of the course is extremely important and the students really see the inner workings of a facility that can handle any and every event. Nicotra’s Ballroom is an excellent choice because the staff is extremely dedicated and goes over and beyond what is the norm at other locations,” she said.

Be on the lookout for more information about Mortimer and her class at Wagner College, which is in the New York metropolitan area. Best wishes to her new grads!

Interested in signing up for a class at Wagner College? Register today.

Photo information: From left, Mortimer and students: Amy Lefkovic, Cristina Crespo-Perrotta, Marissa Terzino, Maureen DeLuca, Carolann Porzillo and event planner Patricia Banks of Nicotra's Ballroom.

Tags:  event planner  LWPI instructor  wedding planner 

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Check out the LWPI Blog!

Posted By Abby Langston, Friday, January 14, 2011
Interested in what goes on in an LWPI certified wedding and event planner class? For one thing, Lovegevity and its instructors encourages all students to get out in the community to not only spread the name of their business but to give back, too.

Students at Cowley College in Wichita, Kansas, recently held a fall festival for local kids. Check out more about it here. It's a great way to put your LWPI skills to practical use, and what's better than charity work?

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How to Create One-of-a-Kind Events

Posted By Abby Langston, Thursday, January 13, 2011
Wouldn’t you love to create a signature party that is the talk of the town? Whether you’re starting an events business or looking to spice up your own parties, Preston Bailey will demonstrate how you can plan and execute an event that is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Preston produces special events ranging from simple parties to extravagant weddings and "velvet rope” parties for Hollywood’s A-listers.

You’ll learn:

- How he built his business from a florist to a celebrity event designer
- The three pillars of his business
- The design process- from initial client meeting to the actual event date
- How to choose a theme and carry it through the entire event
- How to create a signature look
- How to transform spaces into unique event settings

Follow this link to sign up today!

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Almost there!

Posted By Alicia Owen (Powell), Wednesday, January 12, 2011

As I near the end of this course, my excitement of a dream actually coming to fruition is throught the roof!  I have learned so much from the course, things that I was not aware of and some new ideas to enhance the whole event experience!  I am so excited to begin my business with the information and data gathered.  This course has given me the ability to start out with a vast amount of the forms, data, and background material needed for the events.  I hope to contribute to the site or spread the word to interested people about how wonderful the course is!  Kudos to the developers of this course and good luck to everyone!

 

 

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Guest Post from LWPI Graduate Shafonne Myers

Posted By Abby Langston, Monday, January 3, 2011
Shafonne MyersAs wedding and event planners it is our duty to give the utmost attention and care to our clients to ensure that their wedding or event is flawless and impeccable. But what most planners don’t think about is our duty to give back to our communities.

As we embark on the upcoming year, I encourage everyone to take a step in the philanthropic direction. We as planners should add philanthropy to our quarterly or annual marketing calendars. Trust me, I know it is hard to do, especially with the cost of running your business and then trying to gain business. What planners don’t understand, however, is that giving back to our communities is a great way to help the community as well as help your business. There are tons of ways for your business to give. Here are just a few:

A. Sponsor free wedding-planning classes
Engaged couples are always looking for ways to learn how to plan their own wedding to save money. This is a great group to help because you can help them plan their wedding at no cost and offer discounts if they decide to use your day-of coordination services.

B. Sponsor an engaged couple and help them plan their wedding for free
Sponsoring an engaged couple is a great way to give back to the community as well as give your business some exposure. This is a great opportunity for your business to partner with fellow wedding-industry professionals, possibly with the hope of them working with you in the future, or just to build your vendor database. Often times these types of events can generate huge media options. So if you decide to do this make sure and get the word out to the media ASAP. You never know, once they get wind of it you could gain some great sponsors.

C. Offer your services to nonprofit organizations
This is my favorite one because it offers the opportunity to meet people outside of the wedding industry. Donating your time and services to a nonprofit organization will help spread the word about your business, all the while helping a great cause and lending a hand. I volunteer as the marketing director for an organization that helps Multiple Sclerosis patients, and it’s great.

Do you have any ideas on how certified wedding and event planners can give back to the community? Good luck and Happy New Year!

Be sure to visit Shafonne’s website, follow her on Twitter, and read more about her in this LWPI Instructor Spotlight. Lovegevity is excited to welcome Shafonne to the blog! Check here for more exciting news about her partnership with LWPI.

Tags:  charity work  community work  event planner  wedding planner 

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Instructor Spotlight: Shafonne Myers

Posted By Abby Langston, Saturday, January 1, 2011
Shafonne Myers is living her dream by helping others realize their dreams. While attending Mary Baldwin College she coordinated all social events on campus through her direction of the Baldwin Program Board. That experience helped her further develop the leadership, creative and organizational skills she brings to her clients as well as to her classroom students.

Since graduating from MBC, Shafonne founded and is president of Making Your Event Special, a top wedding and event consulting firm in Richmond, Virginia, and now Indianapolis, Indiana. Continuing her tradition of bringing people together, she organizes socials and workshops to provide couples with tips and tricks to help plan their weddings as well as wedding and event planners looking for continuing education. She also offers consultations to couples and aspiring wedding and event planners through face-to-face meetings, phone calls, emails and Twitter.

As a Certified Wedding Planner and instructor for Lovegevity’s Wedding Planning Institute, Shafonne tells her students and future planners to "Just get out there and live your dream”. In addition to her expertise, warm and bubbly personality, and meticulous attention to detail, she also offers internships to graduates of the program and helps any way she can to ensure their success.

"So often students come through the program and doubt themselves, not thinking that they can make it. It is hard, and it will be tough, but I reassure them that if they got this far, then it is meant to be,” she says.

Shafonne and her staff at Making Your Event Special pride themselves on providing superb customer service as well as helping the community and future wedding planners achieve their goals. She is the author of several articles on wedding planning, which have been featured in many local and national wedding-industry publications, and runs her own wedding blog, Divas and Weddings. She loves sharing her knowledge as well as providing real-life experience with her students, with the hopes that they will accomplish their dreams as she did.

Are you interested in becoming a wedding and event planner? Take a moment to check out a tour from Lovegevity’s Wedding Planning Institute. Lovegevity also offers a Signature Wedding and Event Design course from Preston Bailey, and a Green Wedding Planning course. Combination classes are available, too, as well as online courses. You can meet our instructors and see a list of some LWPI partner schools here.

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Instructor Spotlight: Lisa Smith of Michigan’s Macomb Community College

Posted By Abby Langston, Saturday, January 1, 2011
Lisa Smith began planning special events when she was a high-school junior. From homecoming dances to the junior and senior proms - if there was a planning committee she was on it. After her graduation from high school in 1991 it was no surprise that her passion for planning special events followed her to Fairmont State College in Fairmont, W. Va. It was there in 1992 that she planned, coordinated and designed the First Black Student Union Ball. In addition she planned and promoted a concert for an at the time little-known band named Hootie and The Blowfish.

In 1996 Lisa returned to Michigan and began working for Wintor- Swan LLC, the largest African-American owned printing and bindery company in the United States. Lisa planned her first paid full-service wedding in 1999, and from that point she began giving advice and planning, coordinating and directing weddings for co-workers. In 2000 she began working for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan, and it was there that she really began to cultivate her event-planning passion. During this time her husband began to notice the huge amount of time that Lisa was spending on planning weddings, and he came to her and together they decided that she should pursue it as a full-time career. With the full support of her husband, Joseph, Lisa left Blue Cross in 2007 to start her own business. She proudly earned and received her distinguished designation as a certified wedding planner and became a proud member of the Association of Bridal Consultants. During this time Gabbi Grace Events was officially launched.

In 2009, almost two years after completing her certification, Lovegevity’s Wedding Planning Institute received a recommendation from Lisa’s former instructor, Narketta Sparkman, the president of the Detroit Chapter of ISES, to be her replacement as an instructor with LWPI. Lisa began her journey of teaching one of the things she loves most - planning weddings and special events - at Macomb Community College in Michigan.

Today, Lisa continues to teach for LWPI, and she is excited and looks forward to teaching Preston Bailey’s Signature Wedding and Event Design Course. In addition to being a speaker and hostess for the Association of Bridal Consultants Michigan Chapter, she has volunteered her time and experience for Jazz on the Vine, which benefits Gilda’s (Radner) Club, a nonprofit cancer-support community. Not only is Lisa an educator in the wedding industry she continues to remain a student by attending industry-related seminars, workshops, conferences and monthly association meetings.

"Becoming a certified professional wedding and event planner has been one of the best things I could have done. Not only did I learn a lot of new things it has also afforded me the opportunity to teach something that I truly love, which is celebrating love and life and helping clients customize their events. I look forward to teaching people how to set up and run their wedding and event-planning businesses so that we can continue to have a wedding and event-planning industry that is reputable, and have clients hire certified professional wedding and event planners who they can trust to share in planning, coordinating and execution of their event.”

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Instructor Spotlight: Jennifer Taylor of Everett Community College

Posted By Abby Langston, Saturday, January 1, 2011
When Jennifer Taylor opened Taylor’d Events by Jennifer in 2005 she had no professional wedding- and event-planning experience. She had helped friends and planned her own wedding with the help of a great Wedding planner, and she knew then that it was a job for her. After talking to her Wedding planner and many others in the wedding industry, she knew it would work, so off she went.

In 2010, her hard work has paid off. She was awarded by Seattle Bride Magazine Best of 2010 Day of Wedding Coordinator, as well as 2010 Bride’s Choice by Wedding Wire. She was also asked by Lovegevity’s Wedding Planning Institute to start teaching its Everett Community College class, which she considers a great way to give back to the industry.

Jennifer is one of the founding members of Wedding Network USA, a new wedding professionals networking group. She is the National Regional Director, which means all the regions report to her. She is also a member of the Association of Bridal Consultants and is one of 26 Professional Bridal Consultants in the State of Washington. Through ABC she became a Distinguished Graduate through their Professional Business development class. She also belongs to numerous wedding-networking groups locally and nationally.

She has been quoted and written about in various Seattle wedding magazines, blogs and local newspapers. The topics range from "So you want to be a Wedding Planner” to décor and design ideas, to teaching brides how to plan their wedding on their own.

Jennifer earned a bachelor of arts degree at Western Washington University, and before getting into the wedding-planning business she worked in the retail and communication industries. She knows all about work pressures and timelines and how they affect brides and grooms as they plan their weddings.
Over the years Jennifer has met many brides, who, despite having different budgets, traditions and backgrounds, all really want the same thing: to have a wedding to remember and have fun planning it.

Jennifer says it’s wonderful to be able to pass along tips and expertise and watch what brides create with the information. And at the same time, she enjoys being part of the big day and ensuring that things go as smoothly as possible.

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Beyond Wedding Planning

Posted By Abby Langston, Saturday, January 1, 2011
Many of us get into this business because we love weddings: the flowers, the fashion and the fun that comes along with figuring out the details. But there are so many events out there beyond weddings, which is why  Lovegevity’s Wedding Planning Institute also puts a strong focus on event planning. Every class is urged to put on an event during the semester, and one class, led by Marci Bridgeford of Elk Grove Adult and Community Education and the owner of A Joyous Occasion, recently led her students through a fun, rewarding planning process. Marci, who is an instructor with LWPI, says:

"(The) class successfully did this by choosing the charity as a class - The Children’s Receiving Home of Sacramento. Led by their instructor every inch of the way they had a representative from the Receiving Home come to their class and they conducted a consultation. They asked all the appropriate questions and got a vision of what the home needed and would want. From there they drafted a donation letter and handed it out to various vendors, local companies and friends to raise money for the event. (Not one cent was an out-of-pocket-cost for the class or instructor). They drafted their vision and budget for what they wanted to create and had that dollar amount as their goal. With the generosity of the community and their passion for the event they ended up raising 3 times their goal and were able to give the home much more than they originally planned.

This event taught the class how to market, how to sell themselves, how to conduct a consultation, how to work with vendors, how to create a timeline, how to create the responsibility lists, how to work the A6 components, how to set up, work the event, and break down the event. It also taught them how to work within a budget and reconcile their books at the end of the event.”

The LWPI students held a party for the home’s girls, and it was about fulfilling desires - not just wants. A budget of $800 was initially planned, but the students ended up raising $3200! Just what did this fun event entail?

* A gym was decked out in all types of cute decor, to make the girls feel special. Pizza was donated, which really helped the budget. And what kid doesn’t love pizza?
* The girls had "points” that they used to buy things in a "store” set up by LWPI students.
* A makeshift photo booth was set up, and the girls could have their pictures taken with celebrities (which were posters of celebrity faces.) This was an especially huge hit, Bridgeford said.
* A henna artist was also brought in, which the girls also really loved.
* And all the extra money in the budget meant that the LWPI students were able to put together gift bags for the girls.

"Implementing an event into the curriculum was a great way to give each student hands-on experience of creating and implementing an event from start to finish,” Bridgeford said.

LWPI would love for all of its instructors to have their students plan this type of event. Lovegevity has always encouraged its students and graduates to get out into the community and do things to help others. This is a great way to get started off on the right foot.

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Real Weddings from LWPI Graduates: Nicole Brennan

Posted By Abby Langston, Saturday, January 1, 2011
Weddings are a lot of fun, but they’re also a lot of work. Lovegevity’s Wedding Planning Institute is devoted to setting aspiring wedding and event planners on the right track, and Nicole Brennan of LovelyGirls Weddings in Wilmington, Del., is the perfect example.

According to her website, Nicole: "Once would have described herself as ‘retro modern chic’, but was most recently told she had a flair for the vintage! ‘I love bold colors, strong contrasts, and patterns. I always look for something different,’ says Nicole. ‘I am not afraid to blend different styles – modern can co-exist with vintage, traditional can mingle with elements that are more funky and off-beat.’ She lives by the rule that if your showing a lot of leg, then you might want to cover up the top! She feels that her events should have the same feel. Nicole attended the University of Delaware while majoring in Fashion Merchandising and just currently received her Wedding Planning Certification from the Wedding Planning Institute in the Spring of ‘09.”

In this new LWPI feature, Real Weddings from LWPI Graduates, we want to showcase some of the hard work - and absolutely breathtaking designs - of some of our graduates. We’re starting today with Nicole. All of these photos are courtesy of Laura Novak of Novak Photography. We’re super impressed with Nicole and LovelyGirls‘ work! Aren’t you?

Some of our favorite details from Kara and Marc’s wedding at Appleford have to be first, the color choices. Pink and green is such a classic yet always fresh combo for spring weddings. We know that engagement season is about to begin; many brides receive their diamonds during the holidays! And a lot of them will be planning spring weddings so Nicole’s details are great inspiration for you wedding planners who will be designing those upcoming spring weddings.

We also love the black and white touches, such as the damask on the invitations, votives, table numbers and wedding cake. The same pattern is also repeated in green with several details, tying everything together. What are you favorite details from this gorgeous wedding?

Interested in having one of your weddings featured? Contact our managing editor for more information. And for more on the vendors used in Marc and Kara’s wedding see the following links.

Wedding Planners: LovelyGirls Events
Floral: Beautiful Blooms
Photography: Laura Novak of Novak Photography
Videography: Blue Hen Video Productions
Invites, Escort Cards, Table Numbers, Favor Tags (all stationery): Greenleaf Paperie
DJ: Timmy D Productions
Caterer + Cake: Jack Francis Catering
Hair: Perry Anthony Salon + Day Spa
Make-Up: Evoluer Image Consultants
Bridesmaids Dresses: Watters and Watters
Bridal Shoes: Nina Bridal Collection

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Instructor Spotlight: Candice Owens of College of Southern Maryland

Posted By Abby Langston, Saturday, January 1, 2011
Candice Owens is president and co-owner of Haute Minded Events (HME), a social and corporate event-planning firm specializing in sophisticated and cosmopolitan events. The firm was founded in 2007 and is located in Washington, D.C., and produces some of the area’s most jaw-dropping events, both small and large. HME is the newest division of holy matrimony and thrives on the mantra of turning events from hopeless mediocrity into historic moments.

Ms. Owens possesses an eclectic set of skills that allow her to design, create and direct events with the eye of both a performer and a designer. She is an accomplished thespian with a background in dance and the arts, finding a home in theatrical productions. Ms. Owens not only acts but does more than dabble in the world of dance. She has had a diversified education and career path including graduating from Johnson C. Smith University and attending the Art Institute of Charlotte, where she majored in Fashion Marketing. Her couture eye and envelope-pushing style have landed her stints with Nordstrom and enabled her to design and finetune the look and feel of an event.

After a stint in the wedding-planning division of the firm, holy matrimony, Ms. Owens was able to strengthen the design and management muscles in the world of luxury weddings. While working with holy matrimony, Candice had the opportunity to assist Style Network’s, Season 7, newest planner Vicky Johnson on the nationally syndicated show Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? She developed the special touch needed to deal with one’s most precious day while maintaining a logistics mastery over the flawless execution of an event. Whether working with groups of 500 or 50 Ms. Owens is always able to bring a new level of style and professionalism to both the event and the industry as a whole. She has had the esteemed opportunity to work for clients in the NFL and affiliated sports organizations, planned destination weddings in Mexico, and had the opportunity to meet, greet and be photographed by Rolling Stone magazine with R&B singer Usher Raymond on his 2008 "One Night Stand” tour.

Owens earnestly believes in creating opportunities for those to follow in her footsteps should they so desire. She currently serves as a mentor to other young entrepreneurs that seek to not only realize their dreams, but see them come to fruition; along with volunteering as a screener for the Women Entrepreneurs of Baltimore and most recently becoming an LWPI certified wedding instructor, teaching event and wedding planning at the College of Southern Maryland. Some of her accomplishments are being featured in and on Grace and Mercy Magazine, Trends magazine, Balleralert.com, mydeejay.com, Wall of Styles Radio Show, "The Magic Hour,” nationally syndicated shows Say Yes to the Dress, The Dr. Oz Show, Emceeing for TSimone Designs 2010 FALL Fashions line, and becoming a member of the National Association of Professional Women. Ms. Owens resides in Maryland.

Interested in signing up for LWPI’s wedding and event planning courses? Take a tour here. Or sign up for an online course here.

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Lovegevity Talks with Graduate of Green Wedding Planning Course

Posted By Abby Langston, Saturday, January 1, 2011
Wendy Dorsey, a recent graduate of Lovegevity’s Green Weddings Course and the owner of Essential Sage Wedding and Events, recently sat down with us to talk about her experience with Lovegevity and how weddings can be easily made more eco-friendly. Dorsey, who lives in Texas, decided to get into the wedding-planning business after her event-planning work slowed down, due to the economy. As she told us the move was a good one because "there will always be brides.” She had some wedding-planning training under her belt, but - and as we’ve recommended to Lovegevity’s certified wedding and event coordinators - Dorsey knew she needed to find her niche so she could "differentiate herself from the masses.”

"I started to look at what was important to me personally and professionally. It didn’t take long to land on my love of the environment and quest to be personally as eco-friendly as I could. I did some research to see what was happening in the movement and found that there was little attention being paid to the extraordinary amount of waste that conventional weddings produce in our country, Texas and certainly in Dallas. That’s when I knew, this was my niche. Albeit an uphill climb, I knew this was a business for me,” she said.

Dorsey, who had been following Kate Harrison and The Green Bride Guide for awhile, saw an advertisement for Lovegevity’s Green Weddings Course in one of Harrison’s e-newsletters. Dorsey says she especially loved communicating directly with Harrison through the course, and she calls Harrison "the godmother of green weddings.” When asked how the course prepared her, she said:

"More than prepare me, the course offered validation for how I aspire to participate in this industry. Many of the ‘lessons’ and ’strategies’ were familiar to me, but the content really drilled down farther, expanding my knowledge base. The resources provided have been a huge help in sourcing information. The course work also led me to be crystal clear that this venture would be a challenge in Dallas. There are a couple of vegan/all-natural organic caterers, but we’re very limited in terms of natural and organic florists. However, we do have many historical, arts and cultural venues that are just perfect for a wedding ceremony and reception. So right off the bat, we have an opportunity to cut back on the amount of transportation guests use as a result of attending a wedding. If a bride and groom are willing to have a morning or daytime wedding, there is additional opportunity to save on added lighting (form or function). For the more traditional couple, we have a few really beautiful hotels who have implemented a number of eco-friendly energy-based strategies, one recently receiving the Green Seal of Approval.”

Among Dorsey’s favorite eco-friendly trends for the upcoming fall wedding season and beyond is raising awareness. "Raising awareness, and doing it with grace, is one of the most meaningful contributions you and your groom can make. Consider that the U.S. wedding industry is a $70 billion a year business. Your event budget is part of one powerful lobby! Every time you question a product or service’s environmental and social impact, you send a strong message to Corporate America. When you buy locally, you are countering corporate dominance. You also have the ability to inspire. Your wedding is an outward expression of you and your groom’s inner values. Not only is your green celebration a promise to care for each other throughout your lives, it’s also a public commitment to nurturing the planet.”

Dorsey also likes such eco-friendly ideas as edible wedding favors, and those that "keep on giving” such as seeded paper notes or tiny terra-cotta pots with bulbs planted in them. Weddings with vintage elements, she said, are obvious "green” choices plus anything vintage is really hot right now. And wedding-party gifts made and/or wrapped in recyclable materials are another way she likes to send the "green” message.

Dorsey said she thinks it’s an exciting time to be a Green Wedding Planner because "the industry is ripe for change” and "target customers are on the cutting edge of environmental awareness.”

"The average bride, at 27 years old, has grown up exposed to environmental and social awareness. These are not foreign concepts to most couples, however, some couples may need to be shown how you can marry style and sustainability. Be sure you are choosing to be green for the right reasons. Being eco-friendly won’t be a trend for long; it will become a way of life. Your customers (seasoned and rookie eco-concious couples) will expect you to be their fearless leader, their green advocate with vendors.”

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Real Weddings from LWPI Graduates: Shafonne Myers

Posted By Abby Langston, Saturday, January 1, 2011


Lovegevity’s Wedding Planning Institute is excited to bring you another Real Wedding this month, this time from LWPI graduate Shafonne Myers! Shafonne founded and is president of Making Your Event Special, a top wedding and event consulting firm in Richmond, Va., and now Indianapolis, Ind. Continuing her tradition of bringing people together, she organizes socials and workshops to provide couples with tips and tricks to help plan their weddings as well as wedding and event planners looking for continuing education. Shafonne is also an instructor with LWPI, and she has tons of experience and advice to offer students.

According to Shafonne: "This was a wedding that I did in Virginia last year. The bride and groom, Rachel and Geoff, were amazing. They were actually referrals that I had gotten from previous clients. The venue was beautiful. It was at the end of April and everything was in bloom.”

We love so many of the details from this amazing wedding. And all of the beautiful blooms are exactly why so many women want to be spring brides! It’s hard to create a better venue than nature provides, don’t you agree? The blue and pink accents are a perfect match for the understated beachy theme that the couple chose for their reception. (Read below for links to the fabulous vendors that Shafonne worked with in Virginia.)

Wedding Planner: Making Your Event Special
Venue: The Manor House
Flowers: Flowers Make Scents
Dress: Jingles
Cake: Batter Up Cake Company
DJ: Bill Holliday
Videographer: Drop to Design
Photography: David Abel Photography

Are you interested in becoming a wedding and event planner? Take a moment to check out a tour from Lovegevity’s Wedding Planning Institute. Lovegevity also offers a Signature Wedding and Event Design course from Preston Bailey, and a Green Wedding Planning course. Combination classes are available, too, as well as online courses. You can meet our instructors and see a list of some LWPI partner schools here.

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Instructor Spotlight: Nicole Conway of Yuba College

Posted By Abby Langston, Saturday, January 1, 2011
Nicole Conway, the owner of Conway Creations and Events, established her company to follow her dream. She started off by helping friends and family plan their weddings and events. Upon receiving her certification from Lovegevity’s Wedding Planning Institute in 2007 she began her career, and she has since been selected to share her knowledge and expertise with students in the LWPI course at Yuba College in Marysville. Nicole teaches aspiring students how to become successful wedding planners while also giving them hands-on experience and exposure to many different types of local wedding vendors.

In 2010 Nicole and her company, Conway Creations and Events, were honored to receive Wedding Wire’s 2010 "Bride’s Choice Award”. Her company has coordinated numerous events of various sizes, budgets and styles, and clients love working with Nicole because she sincerely cares about them. She listens carefully to understand her clients’ desires, and she utilizes her vast resources and exceptional coordination and organizational skills to help bring their visions to life. She also understands the busy lives that couples lead today and so she focuses heavily on the convenience factor for them by making herself available via phone and e-mail at all times.

Nicole is creative and driven and always welcomes the next big challenge life has to bring. She loves sharing in the most important day of people’s lives - from the moment one gets engaged to the cans rolling behind the limo! Her goal with couples is to make the planning process about them and their life together.

What does Nicole like the most about being a certified wedding and event planner? "Definitely the dream come true that I helped to create,” she says. What does Nicole want to say to her prospective students? "Dream big, always give first and do what you love and the rest is easy!”

Nicole currently lives in Roseville, Calif., with her husband and two children (and their two spunky cats!). Be sure to check out Nicole’s company website and blog, Facebook page, and follow her on Twitter.

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Just About Finished & Worth Every Minute!

Posted By Jody L. Stack (Record), Friday, December 31, 2010
This course has been a wonderful experience preparing me with skills to work efficiently in the industry. I have gained so much insight to the business over the last year, but my favorite assignment was creating the seasonal design boards. Several of the assignments have been somewhat challenging for one who's not quite yet beginning a business, but nevertheless they are good exercises in professional networking. Cheers!

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Cheers to LWPI!

Posted By Tera Whitaker, Friday, December 31, 2010

I can't quite believe that by the end of next month this wonderful experience will be ending. For the past year all I have dreamt about was opening my own business as a wedding planner. I made myself seriously consider it every day for a year before I let my self file my formation papers. I thought that if I could say "yes" to it every day, well then I was committed to the idea.

I researched a lot of different online certification options and I have to tell you, I was completely skeptical. As a newbie to the industry it was difficult to figure out where to spend your money for your certification and just exactly what you were purchasing. My husband gave me a few pearls of wisdom and told me, "You get what you pay for...".

And there began my journey with LWPI. I couldn't be more happy with my decision to get my certification here, with all of you. The convenience of online classes was a super easy way for me to become connected and to get involved. The lessons we endured were absolutely essential stepping stones for us to take. I know in my heart that I got more than a certification for my business. I have peace of mind knowing that I am building my business on top of a solid foundation.

I look forward to the future in my business and I know that I will be coming back for the other education programs that LWPI offers...

May all of you have a successful 2011!

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