WIPA-Arizona Chapter

Last Wednesday I attended the first official Wedding Industry Professional Association (WIPA) for the Arizona Chapter.  It was hosted by Hotel Valley Ho and coordinated by Outstanding Occasions.

Fun venue + outstanding wedding coordinators = gorgeous event

The first thirty minutes was for mingling and networking.  Pretty much the entire reason why I wanted to go and also why I was dreading going.  Thirty minutes of mingling where you don’t know a single person can be pretty humbling.

I ran into Melissa Jill and Kimberly Jarmen almost immediately.  I said hello on the outside, but on the inside I was saying, “Oh thank you lord for letting me know someone here.  I beg of you to not let them leave my side”.  And then they left to mingle with other people.  Totally understandable, but I still started to panic.

My trick at these events is always to have my camera.  When there is no one to talk to I just pretend that I’m really interested in taking a few pictures.

I took a couple of pictures and then found the open bar…score!  I grabbed a glass of confidence wine, started to mingle and thankfully didn’t have to use my camera as a decoy.

The guest speaker was Sean Low who previously worked with Preston Baily.  I had checked out Sean’s blog before the event and found it to be full of some great advice for those in the creative industry.  I have to admit that his presentation seemed a little dis-jointed or maybe it was just over my head..not sure which yet.

The two things that I was able to take away from his speech are this:

Be you thru and thru: From the way you answer the phone, to how you conduct client meetings and even how you present contracts.  It should all be cohesive and convey your target message to the client.

It’s never too late: Slyvia Weinstock is a wedding cake designer/baker to the stars and has become somewhat of a celebrity herself.  She started her business at the age of 50 and is going strong 30 years later.  There are times when I have questioned if I am too old for this industry…this was the perfect inspiration to remind me that age doesn’t matter!

It was great to meet so many new people and actually see people in person and not just their FB profile pictures.  I am already working on having lunch with some of my new friends!


Janet Finden It was great to meet you at the WIPA launch event Suzanne! I am looking forward to our lunch next week. Thanks for posting my business card :)

Suzanne Melissa Looking forward to lunch too!

Julie This is an encouraging post to me… I often stress that I’m way too old to start a photography career so reading about Sylvia Weinstock is very encouraging! Thanks!

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