Supporting the Bridal Business Industry

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Daily ReadWork = Love

So you LOVE your job? Really? Given the deadlines, demanding boss, forever changing responsibilities, and quirky co-workers, some days you are probably wondering how in love you really are!  Forbes contributing editor Samanta Ettus has taken 8 popular love quotes and substituted the word “business” for “love.” If you agree with these redesigned quotes, then today you owe your work a box of chocolates!

1. “The hunger for business is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.” – Mother Teresa

2. “Business recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” – Maya Angelou

3. “You know you’re in business when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” – Dr. Seuss

4. “Where there is business there is life.” – Mahatma Gandhi

5. “We waste time…

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Several weeks ago, ABC’s investigative reporter, Elizabeth Vargas interviewed wedding professionals from around the country on 20/20.  From the comments since, the ‘wedding industry’ as a whole’ did not feel that the report was by any way true and did not showcase the true essence of the hard work that is done to create a ‘dream wedding.’

“Watching the negative press and the discussions that have ensued since the report–has been very ‘eye-opening,’ and interesting,” said Chris Evans, of Evans Sales Solutions, (who was also interviewed to showcase his ‘Bridal Business Boot Camps,’ ) said,  “I think the easiest way to overcome bad publicity is to flood the internet with good publicity.  Anyone who has been in the wedding industry-for any length of time, knows that there is thousands of wedding professionals–doing GOOD  every day!”

The new website and blog ‘Wedding Confidential,’ (named after the show on 20/20,) …

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bride11By Caroline McMillan

Charlotte Observer

Gone are the days when a bride-to-be strolled into Amy Craparo’s The Wow Factor Cakes with a blank slate and a couple of magazine clippings.

Now, brides in the throes of wedding planning come to her Park Road bakery armed with their smartphones and tablets open to their new primary source of inspiration: Pinterest, a social media site that allows users to maintain virtual pinboards with images from the web.

“Almost every bride I sit with for a consultation brings in a picture from Pinterest – almost every single one of them,” says Craparo.

It’s a virtual networking tool that’s changing the way wedding retailers do business. Many Charlotte-area wedding vendors – from dress shops to florists, cake designers to stationery experts – now use the site as a cost-free way of interpreting trends, connecting with clients and garnering more exposure. It all helps these businesses capture a bigger piece of the $40 billion wedding-industry pie.

Since it launched in 2009, Pinterest has cracked Comscore’s list of top-50 U.S. Web sites, drawn nearly 26 million unique visitors and been valued at more than $1.5 billion. The site, which allows users to browse other people’s pinboards for inspiration and “repin” images to their own boards, offers a nearly infinite stream of idea for home decorating, recipes, fashion and weddings.

Approximately 68 percent of Pinterest’s users are female, and nearly one-third of those women are ages 25 to 34, according to digital ad agency Modea.

Given those demographics, it’s no wonder Pinterest seems tailor-made for the wedding industry, which revolves around evocative visuals.

“That’s the beauty of Pinterest,” says Kristin Vining of Kristin Vining Photography, who started using Pinterest in 2010, soon after the site launched. “It’s a domino effect. One person tags it, then BAM, pinning and pinning and pinning … (People are) seeing your name over and over again.”

Vining now has nearly 1,300 followers on Pinterest, and she regularly updates her page to include photos from recent shoots and events. She has separate boards for engagement sessions, bridal portraits and wedding pictures, and strongly encourages her clients to maintain their own pages.

But for Vining, Pinterest is just one of many social media outlets to attract clientele. She also blogs and maintains a presence on Twitter and Facebook – all of which help her Search Engine Optimization ranking with Google, she says.

“(They say) it takes someone seeing your name three times to notice you and seven times to remember you,” says Vining. “Pinterest is just another one of those tools for us to reach our audience.”

Wedding planner Katrina Hutchins of Come+Together Events, often uses Pinterest to connect her clients with local vendors for rental chairs, linens, cakes and photography.

Party Reflections, a special event rental company located on Monroe Road that Hutchins works with regularly, has nearly 900 pins.

“I follow them on Pinterest, and sometimes they’ll be pinning ideas from their own inventory, and I’ll call my girl and say, ‘I want to use this in a wedding,’ ” Hutchins said.

Hutchins said she also spots photos of events she planned floating around on Pinterest – even if she didn’t pin it herself first.

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sadlerock ranch bride and groom

Lindsey + Nathan selected the gorgeous Saddlerock Ranch in Malibu, California for their wedding, so they didn’t need to do much to create a romantic, magical feel. Candle lit mason jars used as center pieces, twinkle lights hung from trees, and Chinese round lanterns used as lighting over the dance floor illuminated the night and created a warm feeling of romance. Custom to Japanese tradition, Lindsey and her family folded 1,001 paper cranes and they were the main focal point for the reception backdrop – in a pretty nude to pink to red ombré pattern. Such a gorgeous wedding and beautiful venue – oh, and did I mention they have zebras at Saddlerock Ranch! So fun! 🙂 Thanks so much to Priscila Valentina Photography for the lovely photos and congrats to Lindsey + Nathan!

saddlerock ranch





hanging flower altar

hanging flower altar

fringe aisle decor

The most memorable moment for both Nate and I was the walk down and first seeing each other. It was the furthest, most dramatic walk I had ever seen – let alone it being entirely grass! I remember starting from behind an oak tree up top from where I was hiding. While walking down holding tightly onto my brother’s arm, he asked me, “Alright so what do you want to talk about? Sports, football, basketball… you’ve got to hold it together because if you start losing it, I’m going to lose it!” Before even getting to the aisle, both my brother and I were not only crying but so bad we were doing “the ugly cry”. It was emotional seeing Nate stand before me and to think this day had finally come.





mr and mrs

Processional: The Wedding Song – Kenny G

Recessional: Home – Phillip Phillips

First Dance: Then – Brad Paisley

wedding party



red and pink bouquet

bride and groom

bride and groom


bride and groom

bride and groom

bride and groom

we did

hanging lanterns

wooden table numbers

mr and mrs chair decor

paper cranes

food truck

paper crane wall

bride and groom paper cranes

photography: Priscila Valentina Photography // venue: Saddlerock Ranch, Malibu, California // florals: Star Events // dress: Tadashi // videography: 618 Studios // bridesmaids dresses: David Meister, Calvin Klein, Badgley Mischka, Nicole Miller // makeup: Julie Stoddard // hair: Crystal Ardnt (Grain Salon) // groom’s suit: Bar III // invitations: Minted // rentals: A Rental Connection // catering: Command Performance // food truck: The Burnt Truck // cake: Doughboys

Why Bridal Business Boot Camp?

When we worked out (strength and body conditioning) in 2006, we found it inspiring to work with ‘Extreme Boot Camp!’  (see picture)  Starting at 6 am -we ran, jumped, stretched and hit goals daily…sounds like a great way to ‘grow wedding business!’    Click Here to Find a Bridal Business Boot Camp near you!

Excellent ideas to grow your wedding business!

FB Displays & Designs' Blog

Over the past few years, smartphones and tablets have become an integral part of everyday life. Since mobile devices are portable and can access a great deal of information within seconds, they are a natural fit for use in the trade show environment. Here are some tips for using mobile technology to your advantage at a trade show.

  • Include a highly visible QR Code on your display. The QR code should take users to a landing page that is optimized for mobile devices. The landing page can be your company’s homepage, a contest entry form, a lead qualification form, etc.
  • Use an app to collect leads. There are several apps that make lead retrieval very simple, such as iLeads and DUB, that allow you to scan a business card and enter the contact information into either your phone contacts or a database. Using a lead retrieval app will save you…

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ScottishDJ's Blog

A recent 20/20 Wedding Confidential piece on wedding vendors, including DJs, seemed to paint a pretty damning picture of the industry. Rebuttals from wedding figures more famous than me have answered these better than I ever could. However, one question comes up time and again – “What makes for a GREAT DJ?”

Jen DeKoven

Back in 2010, I did a piece touching a little on this question, so it needs revisiting. I feel strongly that there are several elements that good companies have, which less reputable ones fall down on. The key to all of these is DO YOUR RESEARCH.

  • Decide what you mean by “Great DJ”. Does that relate to their interactivity, to their musical knowledge, to their customer service, or simply that they are affordable? Know going in what that word means TO YOU.
  • Read reviews. Wedding Wire, The Knot, etc. Check out the next post for how…

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