Our WIPA Story
The WIPA magic began in 2008, when two event professionals, Joyce Scardina Becker and Sharon Jensen felt the wedding industry needed a not-for-profit member-run association that truly represents the industry, and protects the consumer. The drawback of the existing associations were that they were planner-centric, and did not address the needs a diverse set of creative and production partners. Additionally, these associations were all run as a business, for profit, by non-wedding professionals, and lacked true quality education and networking opportunities
With this, the idea for WIPA was born. Twenty top wedding industry professionals contributed $20,000 to create the first chapter in Southern California. These founding members volunteered their time, money and energy to make a difference in the wedding industry by establishing a strong code of ethics and providing industry-leading education.
Thirty people attended the first exploratory meeting at Wildflower Linen to introduce WIPA to the industry. The response was overwhelming and weeks later they held the first official meeting at Rrivre Works. The event was held at 10 AM on a weekday — over 150 attended. Good Gracious! served delectable food and plenty of champagne. The attendees were dazzled as 10 florists took over different areas of the Rrivre Works showroom. The design showcase that would become a WIPA event trademark was born. As Steve Kemble entertained and educated our guests on styles, trends, and the hidden secrets of events, he also invited the days designers to participate on the panel. With this spectacular meeting the standards of WIPA design and education began.
Within a matter of years, WIPA has grown from coast to coast and internationally. WIPA is setting new standards of ethics, education, association conduct, and dazzling meetings. The WIPA board welcomes you to join the family of exceptional wedding professionals.
Founding WIPA Members
WIPA thanks the these incredible founding members for their leadership, dedication and vision:
Joyce Scardina Becker, Events of Distinction
Pauline Parry, Good Gracious! Events
Elaine Bell, Elaine Bell Catering
La Tavola Linen
Wild Flower Linen
Therese Cole-Hubbs, ACS Event Services, now Electric Karma
Cachet Wedding Design
Paula Laskelle, Champagne Tastes Weddings
Patrick McMichael, CSEP, Denon & Doyle Entertainment Group
Sharon Dexmier, Napa Valley Linens