My best practice is to plan on going above and beyond what I do, no matter what the situation brings. As a high-end destination wedding planner, you have to get in your client’s head and be ready to surprise them with things they didn’t even know they wanted—until you provided it. It’s important to have a cushion for these types of little things. Your client’s and their families and friends will not soon forget that and will appreciate it forever!”

– Michelle Marquis, Weddings by Michelle Marquis, Christiansted, Virgin Islands

On my daily to-do list, I always add a reminder—connect with people as professionals in my area for great networking and more exposure, and it works! I want to inspire people every day. That makes me continue to be passionate with my business. Finally, I market my business on the most used social media platforms: Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.”

– Dora Thillet, Dora Thillet Events, San Juan, Puerto Rico

We are shaking things up in 2016 by increasing the number of employees on staff at each event and allowing for more personal attention not just to the bride, groom, and immediate family but, also, to the bridal party’s needs and to the individual guests. We are also using Periscope and YouTube once a week. We are sharing our wedding bloopers and advice. We are uber-excited about 2016! Join us!”

– Lydia Noble, Noble Events, LLC, Mobile, Ala.

With marriage equality upon us, the wedding industry must now recognize that it serves brides and grooms. To that end, I expect to spend much of 2016 convincing ‘Bridal Show’ producers that it’s time to update their language to speak to today’s couples, not yesterday’s brides. Re-branding is never easy, but it can be done.”

– Kathryn Hamm, GayWeddings.com &
WeddingWire, Arlington, Va.

In 2016, I will graciously accept more invitations from my brides to attend their engagement parties, bridal showers, and bridal luncheons! Many potential brides and grooms are in attendance at these events. So, it will be advantageous for me to attend and meet with them. We can engage in conversation in a festive atmosphere that I am not orchestrating.”

– AnnaMarie Wintercorn, MBC™, Elegant Weddings and Events, Stuart, Fla.

We are shaking things up in the event industry by influencing everyone to go digital! Our platform and smart planning tools allow for team collaboration—no more PDF files! With everything in one place, planners, vendors, venues, and wedding couples can seamlessly and effectively work together to create incredible events. From guest lists to floor plans and timelines to our new smart folders, every area of your event is updated in the cloud for free. Going digital is the future for our industry!”

– Sandy Hammer, AllSeated, Inc., New York, N.Y.

I’m expanding my business by adding event décor. I have had many requests from clients for this service and have been collaborating with other vendors to provide event décor. I just signed a partnership collaboration agreement with a venue to provide onsite event décor services in 2016.

– Amanda Crawley-Doherty, CWP™,
Elegant Touch Consulting,
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada

I am starting my year with strategic marketing. I implement weekday and Sunday weddings only, so my marketing is focused on churches in Ontario, partnering with vendors, positioning my flyers in non-traditional locations. Then, I add traditional advertising, like signage and bridal shows. I’ve already started to reap the benefits.”

– Janice Smith, Future Occasions, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Divine Events is shaking up 2016 by adding new staff members and summer interns and diversifying services! Event lighting and design options will offset non-wedding weekends.”

– Aaren Muex, PWP™, Divine Events, Maryland Heights, Mo.

We have a whole new plan of action for 2016! It’s all about getting to the essence of what we love to do, which is to create unique and memorable experiential events. We like to dig deep for creative inspiration and in order to do that, we need to have time, which we currently don’t have enough of. In 2016, we will only produce events that truly excite us, and we will design each with the enthusiasm and passion that we are known for. To quote George Bernard Shaw, ‘Progress is impossible without change!’ We are ready for change!”

– Merryl Brown, CA, CWP™, MA, Merryl Brown Events, Santa Barbara, Calif.

We are ready to shake, rattle, and roll into 2016 with a totally new renovation of the company. We are taking wedding stationery to the next level by introducing a new, user-friendly website as well as an amazing personal customer service experience. We want to ensure the easiest buying experience ever. Which brings me to the most exciting new feature—a personal one-on-one invitation specialist to assist each bride throughout the buying process. Each couple’s wedding experience will be fun, easy, and customized to their unique style. We will also provide helpful information and inspiration on social media, websites, magazines, and will be featured on ‘The Balancing Act’ on Lifetime. So we’re ready and excited for 2016!”

– Nancy Kirk, The American Wedding,
Peru, Ind.

Having organized more than 600 weddings in a country with constant economic changes, I’m going to shake up 2016 with ideas to help my clients achieve a successful event despite all odds. In Venezuela, getting married has become a challenge, but our ideas and management strategies will keep the wedding industry afloat throughout this extreme crisis while organizing the best weddings, because success happens through perseverance during the hardships.”

– Indira Fodor, Indira Fodor Wedding
Planner, Venezuela