Archive for the ‘ABC’Category

shine :: Event Education and Professional Development Conference

Calling all Wedding and Event Pros!  It’s time to shine !

I’ve been working on this project for a few months and now it’s time to share the news!  The shine event is an educational and professional development conference for ABC members as well as all creative professionals serving the wedding and event industry.

Prologue: I established myself as an independent event planner and bridal consultant more than a dozen years ago. While my title and credentials have gradually changed and evolved over the years, the fact that I am an entrepreneur does not change. I can label myself Planner, Designer, Consultant, or Specialist; I can throw in CEO, Owner or Founder… But the only thing that truly matters is this: I am the business owner, and I am responsible for my successes as well as my failures.

 am an entrepreneurI don’t know about you, but I don’t like to fail. And yet, I entered business without knowing how to be successful as entrepreneur.

Did I make mistakes?  – Yes I did.

Did I waste time and money? – Absolutely.

Did I learn from my mistakes? – You bet!

And that is the key:  Learning (education).  As an entrepreneur, learning is not optional.  You must learn, or your business will not survive.  You must find inspiration or you will burn out.  You must adapt and try new things or you will become irrelevant.

I love my job.  But entrepreneurship fascinates me!  Entrepreneurs are some of the most intelligent, resourceful and creative people I’ve ever met.  I have learned so much from my event industry colleagues I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to help educate and inspire others by organizing the shine event.

The Association of Bridal Consultants – Florida has put together an incredible conference: {shine} is a professional development conference featuring superb educational sessions presented by experts & leaders in our Industry and and beyond! Get a jump on your FALL 2014 EVENTS by squeezing 6 months worth of meetings into 2 turbo-charged days of inspiration, motivation, and networking! 

shine event - Shine Conference 2014

Presenting shine’s Dynamic Speakers:
Planners, Designers, Authors, Entrepreneurs, Trend setters, Influencers, and Award Winners:

 Donnie BrownDonnie Brown Weddings & Events – @WDonnieBrown

Heather Canada, MBCFirst Coast Weddings and Events – @FirstCoastWedd

Eddie Diaz, CSEPEncore Creations – @eddiediaz

Kelly McWilliamsWeddings by Socialites – @weddingtidbits

Jennifer LeeCoach Jenn Lee – @coachjennlee

Brenda Fernandez MBCDream Wedding Mexico – @Brendaferza

Shine Event Speakers: Donnie Brown, Kelly McWilliams, Eddie Diaz, Heather Canada, Coach Jenn Lee, Brenda Fernandez


06 2014

Planner vs. Coordinator: A Discussion of Definitions

wedding planner wedding coordinator | by E Delgardio (c) 2012

Today I’m sharing an article by  Amanda Peterson, PBC, a fellow member of the  Association of Bridal Consultants and owner of Ocean Breeze Weddings and Events, LLC  based in Destin, FL.  (Hi Amanda!)

This article appeared in our ABC Florida newsletter and I was motivated to share it here on my blog for a number of reasons.  First and foremost, it centers on an important question that often comes up for discussion and debate: What is the difference between a Wedding Planner and a Wedding Coordinator?   Years ago – which could be defined as subsequent to the invention of TV but prior to the release of the movie “The Wedding Planner“, these terms were seen by most as interchangeable.  (And while you’re at it, you may as well throw into the mix: Wedding Consultant, Bridal Consultant and Wedding Specialist plus any other variations that may be familiar to you.)  So, while the topic is not new, it remains a hot-button issue among industry pros.   However, the good news is that as a result of all this talk, we – the event professionals – realize the true benefits of clarifying our roles so that we can align ourselves correctly with the duties and responsibilities of our chosen title.

The wedding industry has grown substantially over the past few years which says great things about the industry. However, with so many people entering this field, education and standardized verbiage becomes more of a necessity. This is especially true when it comes to titles to describe your duties or what services you provide. Several years ago, the Convention Industry Council started to ask the entire event industry to standardize many of their activities and verbiage so customers could more easily tell the difference in services. Most areas of the event industry have done so, but many in the wedding industry have no knowledge of this and confusion has arisen between services actually being provided. When titles are standardized, it helps stop the confusion of the brides wishing to purchase services. They can better ascertain the differences between wedding planning companies as well as venues with all inclusive packages. I have also noticed this confusion roll over when vendors in the industry do not understand the duties pertaining to particular titles. For instance, there was a DJ who insisted that a planner was to only coordinate the ceremony and not actually have anything to do with the reception. This DJ refused to discuss the reception timeline with the planner and insisted in only speaking with the bride since a DJ is the only one to coordinate a reception. This confusion about titles and duties of vendors could have easily been avoided if standardized titles were better known. Many people in the industry believe that the titles “planner” and “coordinator” mean the same thing and they use them interchangeably.

To help in this area, the below definitions are based on the same recognized standard titles and duties in the corporate world. The only difference is the added term “wedding” in front of the title and the definition tweaked to describe the duties for a wedding.

Wedding Planner: This is someone who helps the bride and groom with all aspects of planning their wedding and the exact duties will differ from company to company and package to package. However, in essence, a planner is someone who will oversee all aspects of the wedding as required including finding needed vendors such as a photographer or DJ, set up site visits for ceremony and reception sites, set up tastings for cake and catering, negotiate vendor contracts, organize and manage room blocks, works with the bride to formulate the wedding day timeline, coordinate the actual wedding ceremony, reception and the farewell of the bride and groom. The planners are there to oversee all vendors, set up, break down and essentially make sure everything the bride and groom have ordered is provided and they take care of any unforeseen tasks on the wedding day. The planner does the actual coordinating of all aspects of the wedding day – not only the ceremony. (In the corporate world a planner is the person whose job it is to arrange every aspect of planning and conducting a meeting or event. – The Convention Industry Manual – 7th Edition)

Wedding Coordinator: This is actually what many venue and smaller wedding companies with preplanned packages provide and call it a “wedding planner”. A wedding coordinator runs the rehearsal and makes sure everyone knows where to go and what to do for the ceremony. On the wedding day, they will line up the processional and get the wedding party down the aisle then make sure the recessional is organized. They sometimes also line up the wedding party for the reception entrance. That is usually it because a coordinator works only on the ceremony. Church representatives will also fit into this category of coordinator instead of actual planner. (In the corporate event world, a coordinator is the assistant to the planner.)

I hope this gets everyone in the wedding industry discussing different titles and their duties so we can join the other organizations with standardization. Once we can agree on duties of provider’s titles, maybe we can discuss how wedding companies and venues can show how their services differ. This way we can help each other with business instead of having brides think that a hotel wedding planner provides the same service as a wedding planning company.

~Amanda Peterson, PBC


“Did you say chosen title ?”  Yes.  The wedding and special events industry is somewhat unique in this respect:  People are free to call themselves whatever they choose.   This is certainly a contributing factor to the overall confusion, and it’s quite unfortunate that most consumers are unaware of this.   I give tremendous credit to professional associations such as ABC for creating and trademarking terminology to designate levels of achievement (i.e., Professional Bridal Consultant, Master Bridal Consultant).  Advancements of this type are very important, as they set the bar.   Personally, I hope to see more of this type of credentialing in the future.  How about you?

(c) 2012 E. Delgardio


06 2012

Business of Brides Conference 2011

I recently returned from the Business of Brides conference, which is ABC‘s annual conference.   The Conference was held in the ahhhmazzzinng and historic Tremont Plaza Hotel and Grand in Baltimore MD – let me just say that this venue was spectacular!  If I hadn’t promised myself to keep this post on point, I could go on endlessly about The Grand’s incredible ballrooms, furnishings and regal elegance. Fall leaves near Baltimore Inner Harbor

It was great to travel north during the Fall… Florida living does not offer much in the way of seasons, so it was wonderful to breathe the crisp air and enjoy the colorful scenery.   The weather was terrific and we got to explore the Inner Harbor area and taste crab and seafood specialties at the local eateries.

So much for the fun stuff; this was a business trip after all.

Being a planner is my career.  Because I take my career as a wedding professional seriously, attending industry conferences is a priority to me – it’s essential my professional development.   This year’s conference required significant advance preparation since I was slated to present an educational session with an ABC colleague, Heather Canada, MBC.   I was also preparing the necessary formalities in anticipation of receiving the professional designation of Master Bridal Consultant(tm) – a long time goal.   (Not to mention packing – which I started two weeks early, lest I forget something!)

I left for Baltimore the morning after completing a sensational wedding for one of our clients.  I think I was running on pure adrenaline (thank goodness for that!).  After arriving at BWI and checking in to the hotel, I polished up a few details and then went before a panel of Masters, the three Master Bridal Consultants who would view and judge my presentation.  I don’t know why this is such a nerve-wracking experience, but most most candidates agree that it is.   And while I did my best – considering a few technical difficulties and an undeniable level of exhaustion – I could not say that I nailed it.

The next morning, the MBC candidates were gathered together and we waited as colleagues were called in and out of rooms…  Eventually my name was called and I entered a meeting room along with a number of others.  I saw many familiar faces but still no indication of success or failure, until Lois Pearce announced that all of us present had advanced to Master Bridal ConsultantOh my goodness!  I was literally shocked – and elated! – and proud, too.  I don’t think I’ll ever forget that moment – everyone was cheering and hugging and congratulating each other.  It was awesome. {happy sigh}

Elisa Delgardio Master Bridal Consultant(tm)

So now I  join the ranks of the very talented and dedicated professionals who have achieved either (or both!) the Master Bridal Consultant or Master Wedding Vendor designation – hooray!!
*As of this writing, there are 71 MBC/MBV’s worldwide.



11 2011

Wedding Professional of the Year


The votes are in…!

Elisa Delgardio - 2010 Orlando WOW Award Nominee

I share this news with great pride and pleasure:  At this year’s Orlando WOW Awards, produced by the Orlando ISES Chapter, I was honored to receive the Peer of the Year Award for Wedding Professional of the Year!

While I was unable to be present at the awards ceremony due to another commitment, I was thrilled to receive the news via text and facebook messages from my colleagues – including a pic of the award envelope!

Wedding Professional of the Year Award Envelope

Criteria for the Peer of the Year Award requires that nominees are members in a participating professional association – such as ISES, ABC, MPI, NACE or HSMAI. Words can’t describe how excited I was to receive the news that I had been nominated by my colleagues! (What a touching accolade!) As a nominee, I was asked by the judging committee to submit a short essay and professional bio regarding my recent accomplishments. The results of the voting were presented September 24th at the 4th Annual Orlando WOW Awards gala reception.


09 2011