Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
While I usually leave the personal posts for our family Blog, in the spirit of the season I thought I would post a copy of our 2007 Holiday card to close out the year!
This has been an incredible year for Engaging Concepts and I am forever grateful to so many in this amazing industry for their support and ongoing belief in what we do. Our clients, colleagues and partners are truly the best and brightest in the wonderful world of weddings and I am honored to work alongside of each and every one of you! The incredible Kathryn Arce continues to be the best friend and business partner anyone in this world could ever ask for and I am inspired by her each and every day. My cherished friends, old and new, are my biggest cheerleaders and supporters and I adore you all.
And without my amazing family none of this would be possible - they are my reason for everything. The unconditional love and encouragement each one of them give to me is the most important and sustaining element of my success and I am humbled by it.
Our offices will be closed until January 7th but we look forward to an even more thrilling, challenging and 'engaging' year ahead and wish you all the same in 2008! Thank you for coming along on this ride with me - so much more to come in the new year!!!!!!
Wishing each of you a warm and wonderful Holiday!!!
[Holiday Card designed and shot by the great Stacey Kane!]
Friday, December 14, 2007
But the whole event was really a team effort on behalf of Cayman Islands’ tourism partners: Cayman Airways donated flights, Southern Cross gave their entire resort for the duration of the filming, and additional accommodation was given by Little Cayman Beach Resort.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
"What's hot in magazines: Bridal titles"
They're now the fastest-growing magazine category
One might think of bridal magazines as a staid category of magazines, and very niche, led by the big national titles Bride's and Modern Bride, but in fact the bridal category is seeing explosive growth, indeed the fastest growth of any category. The number of titles has nearly doubled in the past five years. And this at a time when many of the major magazine categories are seeing titles closing. Why the explosion in new titles? Good question.
How many bridal magazines are there?
There were 135 bridal magazines in 2007, up from 69 in 2002. [a 96% increase!!!!!]
Why is this category of titles so hot right now?
The growth in bridal magazines goes hand-in-hand with the nesting trend, as seen in the growth of home and interior design magazines. There also seems to be a fascination with celebrities, their marriages and un-marriages, and their babies.
How many of these bridal titles are local and regional? Is localization an important trend?
Yes, many of these bridal titles are regional. For example, there is Bride's Boston, Island Weddings, Nantucket Weddings and Hawaii Bride and Groom. Localization is the most important trend.
What are some of the key differences between the major titles in the bridal category?
They are becoming increasingly specialized, targeting ethnic groups, celebrity weddings and even men, as mentioned earlier.
To what do you attribute the growth among bridal titles?
Trends come and go, but people are always going to get married. And because of the high divorce rate there are even more marriages at all ages.
See the entire interview here.
You can also view an interesting 3-minute video clip from today's ADVERTISING AGE on the same topic - proving that this is big market news indeed!
Weddings continue to go from strength to strength and are the darlings of the media. The challenge for any marketer is, in a world of increasingly tighter budgets, how to make the dollars stretch further and mazimize their effectiveness. This does not even take into account the new wedding-related websites that pop up on what seems to be a daily basis! All the more reason for a dedicated, targeted approach and to knowing who the bride is that YOU want to attract. More on this hot topic in the near future!
Friday, December 7, 2007
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Stumbled recently on this article from SMART MONEY Magazine entitled "10 Things Your Wedding Planner Won't Tell You." These types of articles are always interesting reading for any wedding professional to really understand what the media is warning your couples about. Knowing where they are coming from and what they have read will give you some valuable insight into what their questions and concerns might be and help you to establish a higher level of trust from the very first encounter with potential clients.
Unfortunately, as in any industry - there are a few unscrupulous "VENDORZILLAS" out there that are not in business for the right reasons. Brides and grooms are unusually wary coming into the market as they have all heard or read wedding-vendor horror stories.
Establishing a high level of trust and openly sharing past successes and glowing references is a proactive approach to setting yourself far above the few bad apples. Your reputation is everything - protect it fiercely!
[graphic courtesy of WeddingBee]
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Here is where you come in...what have YOU noticed lately in terms of this trend?? One example that I have seen is photographers doing one, two, five year Anniversary photo shoots with the couple back in their wedding attire. She wants MORE! Here is a part of her email to me:
"In particular, what I need to know, to establish the validity of this story, is whether they are detecting any new trends or changes in the wedding renewal arena, ie. that couples are doing it far earlier in their marriages than in the past. Also if they can provide me with names of people willing to talk about why they decided to do this and how they feel about it, that would be great."
So please - email me with anything you are seeing in the industry related to this trend and I will in turn connect you directly with this reporter for her to interview you!
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org - looking forward to what all we learn!!!
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Check out the entire article, photo essay and podcast here!
Monday, November 12, 2007
Friday, November 9, 2007
Innovative ideas from the fabulous Kate Parker Weddings in Maine...The "Flip Flop Valet" and customized OOT ["Out of Town"] Welcome Guest Baskets made to order. What particularly impresses me is that even though both of these items could be created yourself - she has done a wonderful job in the presentation and in the selling strategy. As an example - part of the description of the Welcome Baskets:
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Ok - I am surely dating myself, but for those of you of a 'certain age' who grew up in the 70's, I bet you can recall on demand every word and tune from "Schoolhouse Rock." So many classics - from "Lolly, Lolly, Lolly Get Your Adverbs Here" to "Conjunction Junction" - brings back so many memories!
Kathryn and I will do this and I promise to post back with what our *3 Adjectives* are for Engaging Concepts...and feel free to share yours with us in comments!
Now - back to the Schoolhouse Rock site - I am digging the walk down memory lane and revisting my friend "Bill" up on Capitol Hill!!! LOL!
Friday, November 2, 2007
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Great article from today's NY Daily News about how fall is the new June for weddings! That comes as no surprise to anyone I know in the wedding industry as Sept-Oct-Nov have long been among the very busiest months for most. The article features tips from Preston and some stunning images of a recent fall wedding of his that topped $1 million:
Forget June weddings, fall is becoming the hottest time of year to get hitched.
"The weather is more agreeable, and people are really into those wonderful fall colors: yellows, oranges, apricots and corals," says events designer Preston Bailey, whose impressive client roster includes Donald Trump, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Uma Thurman and Donna Karan. "It's also a very sociable time of year, when people are back from their vacations and there's less chance of a diary clash."
Last month, Bailey, a 27-year veteran of the wedding design business, completed a $1 million fall-themed extravaganza on a farm in Virginia.
But you don't need a seven-figure bank account to create a stunning fall wedding. Here, Bailey shares his tips for a striking autumnal ambience on any budget. READ ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE >>
[Photos by John Labbe for Preston Bailey Designs]
Friday, October 19, 2007
The blog will probably be a bit quiet next week as Kathryn and I are headed first to Grand Cayman and then Little Cayman for a major TV shoot...cannot divulge too many details at this point but will certainly share as soon as we can! We are staying at 2 of my very favorite places in the Caribbean - The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman which just achieved AAA 5-Diamond status and then over to the very special, 'barefoot elegant' property the Southern Cross Club - just named one of the top 3 boutique hotels in the Caribbean by Caribbean Travel+Life Magazine on the remote but magical island of Little Cayman!
We will try and post along the way but otherwise promise a recap and details of this exciting client project as soon as we can!
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
This is an exciting opportunity to anyone looking to increase market share of the destination wedding market [and based on my discussions in the industry and the inquiries I receive on a daily basis - it seems as if EVERYONE is looking to get a piece of it!].
I have recommended that all of my current clients add this to their '08 schedule and many have already made the commitment! Here are some additional details:
"The issue will showcase resorts from all over the world that cater to marrying couples, and consult with industry experts — event coordinators, travel agents, florists, caterers and more — to provide the 101 top planning tips for couples planning to marry away.Add in a host of editor’s picks on everything from great travel gear and reception ideas to beauty must-haves, and consumers have an indispensable guide for every bride and groom who have ever dreamed of having her big day in an exotic locale, be it beach, city, vineyard or mountaintop."
SPACE CLOSE November 27, 2008
MATERIALS DUE November 29, 2008
ON SALE January 29, 2008
Publisher Sue.Gilman@bonniercorp.com• 407-628-4802
Carol Johnson, Associate Publisher Carol.Johnson@bonniercorp.com • 908-221-9122
Allyson Archambault, Ntl. Accounts ManagerAllyson.Archambault@bonniercorp.com • 407-571-4706
Kudos to Bonnier for thinking of this - I am sure editor Susan Moynihan and her talented team will create a fabulous issue and I can't wait to see the final result!
Monday, October 15, 2007
Specifically, I am looking for fabulous brides-to-be who are planning an extravagant, over-the-top wedding for 2008 (spring-fall) anywhere in the US. She, along with her bridal party would be the subject of the show, which will document the excitement of planning the most luxurious, glamorous and exclusive weddings of 2008. We plan to follow the major events in the months leading up to the big day. The show is about friendship, rites of passage, love, family, shopping and one long, lavish farewell party as a group of girlfriends do everything they can to send their bride off in style (Laguna Beach all grown up).
This is a great way for brides to document all of the excitement leading up to the big day and should be a fun opportunity for the entire bridal party!
If you have any recommendations as to who I should contact or know of anyone who might be a good fit for this project, please have them get in touch with me, or pass along their contact information and I can reach out to them."
Friday, October 12, 2007
What I love in particular is that this is such a 'win-win-win' for all involved. One of the most critical but often overwhelming tasks that a bride and groom face is the "where" of the wedding. What this photographer has done is provide an image heavy review of all of the wedding venues where they have shot along with links to each. They place importance on it by including as a main navigation on their site under the category of "Wedding Research." There is not a photographer, floral designer or wedding planner out there who could not do something similar in their own way.
This is a 'win' for the photographer as it shows the scope of their work in a variety of different venues and how many weddings they have shot, a 'win' for the venues as it shows real weddings in their setting along with a description and link to their site and a 'win' for the bride and groom as it provides a one-stop overview of a wide variety of wedding venues showing them from the perspective of real weddings not just glossy marketing shots.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
I am all about appreciation! This is a fun and really inexpensive way to express some love for your brides - new from Philosophy - "the bridal party" gift set:
"For the bride-to-be comes bridal party, a collection of shower gels inspired by wedding traditions that are sure to pamper the beautiful bride before the big day. bridal party includes 6 oz. bottles of bridal bouquet, wedding cake, bubbly and comes complete with history behind these traditions right on the bottle."
Their cute tagline is "Marry yourself before you marry another!"
Just $30.00 - available at Sephora, Amazon, Beauty.com and other philosophy retailers.
How fun! Sure to put a smile on any bride-to-be's face...give one upon contract signing, send one upon learning of a particularly stressful situation that they are encountering during wedding planning, present it at the close of a planning session or send it out 'just because'!!!
It is the little things that make a difference - particularly in the wedding market - and this is one sure way to pamper your brides - trust me - they will love it!
Monday, October 8, 2007
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Things will be quiet on the blog for a few days - I have headed to Antigua for the media event to celebrate the opening of the Sandals Grande Antigua Resort's Mediterranean Village! It is sure to be a great, exciting weekend packed with celebrities, major media, many of the 'who's who' in bridal and so much more!
New York’s Famed Kleinfeld Bridal Featured in New TLC Series
“Say Yes to the Dress”
Save the Date! 13-Episode Series Set to Walk Down the Aisle
Friday, October 12 at 10 p.m. ET/PT
New York (October 2, 2007) - Heading to the bridal salon in search of the perfect gown ... it's the ultimate shopping trip that many women have been dreaming about since girlhood. For many, those dreams bring them directly to the New York doorstep of the famed Kleinfeld Bridal. Finding "the" dress is one of the top items on every bride-to-be's to-do list, and TLC's new series SAY YES TO THE DRESS shows that sometimes, saying "yes" to the marriage proposal is the easy part - it's finding a gown that matches your style, image and budget that can prove far more difficult.
The 13-part SAY YES TO THE DRESS premieres on Friday, October 12, with two back-to-back half-hour episodes airing from 10-11 PM ET/PT. Subsequent episodes will premiere Fridays at 10PM ET/PT.
Part bridal story, part fashion transformation and part family therapy, SAY YES TO THE DRESS is wrought with intense drama, as the Kleinfeld team guides each bride-to-be through the process of creating a flawless look for their big day. Each episode introduces three brides who have traveled to Kleinfeld from across the United States and Canada -- some arriving with a full entourage of parents, friends, and extended family.
It's up to their dedicated consultant to help find the perfect gown for each bride, but it's not always easy. Along the way, there are tears of frustration and tears of elation, and SAY YES TO THE DRESS shows how the Kleinfeld team -- from Elise, the no-nonsense director of sales who manages the consultants, to spunky, outspoken Keasha and know-it-all newbie Claudia -- mixes experience, intuition, hard work and grace under pressure to help every bride feel like a million bucks.
About Kleinfeld Bridal
Kleinfeld is a true New York institution. Founded in 1941, Kleinfeld is renowned for carrying the largest selection of exclusive designer wedding gowns anywhere. Owners Ronald Rothstein, Mara Urshel and Wayne Rogers moved the store from its roots in Brooklyn to a 35,000 square foot Manhattan salon that runs the length of a New York City block. Kleinfeld is filled with the world's most gorgeous wedding gowns and its impressive operation includes 250 bridal consultants, fitters, seamstresses, beading specialists and steam pressers who work to make each bride feel like a million bucks.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Happy Anniversary to Katie & Billy Joel...their incredible wedding was 3 years ago today at their home in Oyster Bay, Long Island and Kathryn and I still pinch ourselves that we were there assisting Marcy Blum and an extraordinary team of top professionals execute this incredible weekend wedding! There are SO many amazing moments to cherish. It was one of those life experiences that lives in your heart forever.
Monday, October 1, 2007
Enjoyed this latest issue of Modern Bride - and especially the 10-page feature styled by the fabulous Michelle Rago at one of my favorite spots on earth - Raffles Resort Canouan Island.
I am a huge fan of Michelle's amazing work - her website is filled with ideas and inspiration from recent real weddings she has designed. Her new book, Signature Weddings is also a 'must read.'
I had a chance to meet her in person at the BFF Bridal event at Henri Bendel in June and we recently re-connected on a number of fronts. She is so down-to-earth and fun and is a major talent with many new and exciting initiatives in the works. Look to hear more from her soon...especially her BLOG which is launching soon - I can't wait!
Friday, September 28, 2007
I know what I will be tuned into in the morning! The most fabulous Marcy Blum will be appearing on the CBS Early Show at 8am to dish about the latest in tabletop floral for weddings. Always entertaining, Marcy is sure to start the last Saturday in September [how can that be???] with a laugh and great ideas. Be sure to watch!
I am SUCH a fan of the publication and have watched it grow from its days as ISLANDS Weddings & Honeymoons to the wonderful magazine that it is today. I just love what Susan has done since taking over at the helm two years ago after being the Travel Editor for Modern Bride. She has infused it with a modern, fresh approach and continues to make significant changes in each and every issue all while staying very true to her readers providing them with the latest destination trends, locations, ideas and of course - spectacular REAL weddings.
If you are looking to increase your destination wedding or honeymoon business - this is just the place to do it and there is never a question when planning our clients media that DWH is on the schedule. It more than delivers to the right audience in a targeted and uncluttered environment. Susan and Sue shared some exciting news planned for 2008 and I promise to share more as soon as it is available!
Wednesday, September 26, 2007