Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Holiday Cheer!

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!!!

Cheers! Rebecca

[Holiday Card designed and shot by the great Stacey Kane!]

Friday, December 14, 2007

Some Back Story on "My Destination Wedding with TheKnot" Client Opportunity

We are of course super excited about tomorrow's premiere of the show! A bit of background: following the incredible success of the Travel Channel's 6-episode series "Weddings Away-Cayman Islands" in 2006 that followed Joanne Brown and the team from Celebrations and was filmed entirely in The Cayman Islands - we knew that we needed to continue to deliver such innovative and ground-breaking television opportunities for our 4+ year client, The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism to build on the momentum generated from the show.

When Carley Roney emailed me back in August looking for "A location that is a bit more exotic and less well known -- an island that people may have only heard of and/or a small boutique/cottage style resort that is visually stunning. The resort also needs to have fabulous floral resources -- or there must be someone on the island to feature -- so that the setting can be really gorgeous!" there was NO question in my mind that the perfect partners to recommend were in Cayman! So began intense coordination, negotiation and logistical planning to pull it all together - there are so many moving pieces and parts to pulling off a one-hour TV show in a remote island destination!
When you see the show - you will also understand that there is much more to the story - many unforseen circumstances, weather uncertainties and extreme medical emergencies that added to the drama - in all our years of putting together wedding TV programs this one truly topped them all!
Excitement in The Cayman Islands is high in anticipation of the show premiere, here is an excerpt from today's article in the Cayman Compass Newspaper:

Speaking about potential impact this opportunity offered Ms [Joanne] Brown said they jumped at the opportunity to work with the Knot and Style Network on the project. “We knew it would generate fantastic publicity for both Celebrations Ltd. and The Cayman Islands in general. To be featured on a leading network such as Style Network, and associated with the largest wedding website company in the world The Knot, is simply amazing, and we are just so grateful for the opportunity.”

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.

Ms Rebecca Grinnals, strategic consultant to the Department of Tourism for the wedding and honeymoon market, was instrumental in bringing about this opportunity for the Cayman Islands. “We are so grateful for her encouragement and leadership in the destination wedding business,” said Ms Brown.

It seems the overall impression on bride, groom and guests was overwhelming.

Ms Brown said, “I cannot begin to tell you how awed and impressed they were with the wedding, and just everything about the islands. They kept saying ‘this is so much more than we could ever have imagined, it is a dream come true’. They fell in love with Little Cayman instantly”.

We were so honored to work beside so many amazingly talented and generous people to make this happen. It was an incredible experience! Tune in for the premiere of "My Destination Wedding with The Knot" on the Style Network this Saturday, 15 December at 9pm EST and airing 7 additional times during the following 5 days!!! And please - let us know what you think!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Huge Announcement: "My Destination Wedding with TheKnot" to premiere!

We are SO excited to finally announce the 'secret' project that we have been working on for the past 5 months for our long time client - the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism. The premiere of the 1-hour special entitled "My Destination Wedding with The Knot" is this Saturday, December 15th on the STYLE Network at 9pm est!!!!

The amount of 'behind-the-scenes' work that has gone into this production is staggering but we are all thrilled that it is finally going to air. Click here for a peek 'behind the scenes' and here for a Slideshow from the wedding.
This is the TV show that I blogged about at the end of October that we filmed on Grand Cayman and Little Cayman. Kathryn and I spent 6 days in Cayman with Carley Roney, who hosted the special, senior executives from STYLE Network and TRUE Entertainment who produced the show [and also produce 'Whose Wedding is it Anyway?' and 'Married Away'].
As with any real wedding - this one was filled with its share of drama and challenges - but in the end - the result was a truly spectacular destination wedding blending vibrant Indian culture with chic island style.
More soon on the many event professionals who worked to make this wedding happen - some of the best and brightest in destination weddings today! Be sure to tune is going to be an amazing show!!!
p.s. A fun 'insider' fact - the TIME Magazine image of Carley Roney and David Liu that I included in the blog a few weeks ago was taken in front of the inspiration/design board for the show...check it out!

Martha Stewart Weddings to Add Destination Wedding Title

Lots of news in wedding-magazine world yesterday...including the surprise announcement that Martha Stewart is closing Blueprint Magazine [which I loved by the way!!] and re-allocating dollars and resources to Martha Stewart Weddings - including the creating a special title dedicated to Destination Weddings!

This from MediaWeek:

"Continuing a trend by publishers to divert dollars from print to their faster-growing online media, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia said it would close Blueprint, its lifestyle/shopping title for young women. Blueprint will fold as a standalone magazine after the January/February issue and publish as a special-interest magazine as part of Martha Stewart Weddings magazine. Its blog, Bluelines, will continue. MSLO said the move would free up money for digital media and expand Martha Stewart Weddings, a 268,663-circ quarterly. MSLO plans to add destination weddings issues to the title and expand its Web site."

All the more proof that Destination Weddings continue to be one of the hottest segments of the wedding market - with no signs of a plateau or slowdown. The demand continues to grow with competition heating up at every level - destinations/CVB 's, resorts, developers, big hotel brands, dedicated magazines, websites, travel agents, wedding planners, photographers, wedding gown designers and the list continues!

We have built the core of our business by focusing on this trend and it has been truly amazing to be a part of the explosive growth. Exciting times indeed and opportunities abound but it does take a dedicated strategy and level of understanding of this unique segment of the market to realize the maximum benefits.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Bridal Magazines are the Hottest in the Industry!

Wow! Bridal Magazines are officially the 'fastest growing magazine category' in the industry! This according to Oxbridge Communications, publisher of the National Directory of Magazines. Some highlights from an interview from Media Life Magazine:

"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

Client Blog Project

We are really excited to share the new Blog we created this week for long-time client, the Casa Monica Hotel in St. Augustine, Florida - part of The Kessler Collection! As far as we know, it is one of the first such blogs of its kind for a hotel - and specifically a hotel wedding department!

You all know the power of blogging [you read this blog after all and most of you have your own great blogs!!] for business...I am passionate about it and learning more every day. During a recent visit/strategy session we had with the entire executive team at Casa Monica -the topic of blogging came up and we suggested it and they jumped right in! Before Kathryn and I made it home that night - they emailed us the start of a blog...knowing nothing about it!!

This week, I spent some time formatting it and creating about 20 posts to show them how they can use the blog to share all of the exciting news about weddings at Casa Monica with potential clients. It is very much a 'work in progress' as are all blogs...but this was created at no cost and using the existing, free blogger templates. We think it is great start and they are thrilled and excited to continue to build upon it. I can't wait to see how this will grow and know it will become an invaluable tool for their wedding team to effectively communicate with their clients!
The bottom line with blogging...just start. That is the hardest part!! Once you start it takes on a life of its own - so if you have not done so already - go for it!!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Super Photographer Does Superman's Wedding!

A HUGE congrats to my friend, the truly amazing Stacey Kane who was chosen to shoot Superman Brandon Routh's wedding in Santa Barbara last weekend! Her image is featured in this week's issue of PEOPLE Magazine and a much bigger spread will follow in a future issue of In Style Magazine. Could not have happened to a better, cooler and more fun 'superwoman' than Stacey - with all of the wedding photo talent based in CA - they chose her to shoot the wedding and flew her in from freezing Maine!! Well deserved! I feel lucky to have had her shoot my girls recently for our holiday card - will share that in a future post!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Google Wedding Imminent

All the news is buzzing on the imminent but still *top secret* wedding of Google co-founder Larry Page this coming weekend.

Page Six reports today that "The wedding this Saturday of Google co-founder Larry Page on a tiny Caribbean island is a logistical nightmare for planners who are flying in 600 guests on private planes and trying to find deluxe hotel rooms for all the bigwigs. Page, 34, the most eligible bachelor in America, will wed girlfriend Lucy Southworth, 27, on entrepreneur Richard Branson's private getaway, Necker Island, sources confirmed to Page Six. Page and Southworth, a biomedical informatics (information processing) doctoral student at Stanford, have been dating for over a year. But to secure accommodations for their guests, Page's planners, working six months in advance, also had to book all the hotels on the neighboring island of Virgin Gorda. Read the rest here."

This will be amazing exposure for The British Virgin Islands and great PR in general for Destination weddings in the Caribbean!

I had the VERY good fortune to visit the enchanting BVI 5 years ago this week on a luxury press trip - including a visit to the over-the-top, fabulousness that is Necker Island and stays at each Little Dix Bay, Peter Island Resort, Bitter End Yacht Club and Biras Creek Resort. One of the most amazing Caribbean travel experiences I have ever had!! I absolutely loved every moment of it.

Stay tuned for more breaking wedding details...I love this stuff!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

10 Things Your Wedding Planner Won't Tell You

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

Media Request: New York Times Story

Just off the phone with a reporter from The New York Times - she is looking to research a story on the latest trends in Vow Renewals. I gave her my insights based on what I know from clients as well as some recent activity that I have noted on the many, many blogs and sites I visit daily!

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 - looking forward to what all we learn!!!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

TIME Magazine profile on TheKnot

From TIME Magazine - a fabulous profile of the brilliant Carley Roney and David Liu, Founders of TheKnot. Featured in the special section entitled: "Entrepreneurial Heroes: How We Got Started" it is an account in their own words of the story behind TheKnot - fascinating! A 'must read' for anyone in this industry. I have been so fortunate to have worked with both Carley and David from the very beginning and still marvel at what they have created together. They are revolutionaries and I love to watch their success. Gettting to spend some quality time with them both in Antigua last month and then again with Carley in Little Cayman filming the TV show reminded me of what makes them so special.

Check out the entire article, photo essay and podcast here!

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Wedding Report 2007

A great source of data about the wedding industry is The Wedding Report. They have just released updated information/trends and demographic data for 2007. In addition to the overall US Wedding market data they also offer an easily searchable database that breaks average spending and all other demographic information by city and state. Very valuable information to anyone in the wedding market.

One of the consistent themes is the source of planning information. A whopping 88% of brides say that they will plan their weddings using Family+Friends as a resource followed by 81% using the Internet and 68% using Bridal Magazines. Less utilized are Bridal Shows at 36% and Wedding Planners/Consultants at 17%.

Not surprising at all but always a good reminder of how powerful the 'word-of-mouth' factor is as a source of business! The care and consideration you take in handling your CURRENT clients is the most important predictor of the quality of your future business. This is not to minimize your efforts against the other sources of potential business but to remind you that you have a virtual goldmine of business right in front of you - it is up to you to leverage that opportunity to the fullest [think not just bride, groom, bridesmaids, groomsmen but also all of the guests/co-workers...anyone in their 'sphere of influence!'!

Friday, November 9, 2007

A lesson in getting it right...

*A NOTE*: This post originally started out to share some of the cute and fun items I came across on the KPW website...what happened as I was putting together the post was that it turned into a mini-case study of someone who is getting it right in marketing to the wedding industry. Read on:

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:

"Each basket is filled with locally-made products and information pertaining to your wedding weekend, including a personalized map highlighting your event locations from the rehearsal dinner to the reception site. To make things even easier for you, we will ship your custom baskets directly to the hotels of your choice along with a guest rooming list for easy distribution. Want to personalize each basket event further? We can also create a personalized welcome letter to be included in your basket. Simply send us a copy of what you'd like to say and we'll take care of the rest. Don't spend the week of your wedding running last minute errands. Let us help make your guests' stay more enjoyable so you can spend quality time with your family and friends."

She does a great job of describing not only the Features of the items but much more importantly - she focuses on the BENEFITS of ordering them from KPW.

I know that is 'Sales 101' but it is something that we see overlooked on a regular basis in this industry. Wedding Professionals are often so focused on all of the things they offer and services they can provide and tooting their own horn with why they are the BEST at what they do that they overlook the most critical element - what the BENEFIT is to the bride and groom of hiring them or choosing their venue or their service.

As we see good + bad examples around the industry of this we will try and share. It is really easy to get caught up in the day-to-day running of your business/doing your job that it is hard to step back for some much needed perspective on how you are positioning yourself and coming across to your clients.

Remember, it's not really all about you/your business/your service/your venue - but just as important is what the benefits are to the client of choosing you!

Check out the rest of her great website for many other examples of fully integrated branding and very robust presentation of what all KPW stands for and offers - the entire time focused on what the BENEFITS are to hiring Kate Parker Weddings. Plus - I just love her tag line: "New England Couture Wedding Planner" and Brand Promise: "Creating sophisticated and spectacular weddings for the most discerning clients. Achieving moments beyond their wildest dreams."

Thanks to my friend Stacey Kane for telling me about her and most importantly - Kudos to Kate for 'getting it right!'

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Flipping for 'The Flip'!

So cool! I just opened my brand new FLIP video camera and I am so excited! This is just the coolest gadget and I can already see so many uses for it. Besides using it to [finally!] start filming priceless moments of my girls - I can see using it for work as well. During FAM trips, site inspections + scouting trips, to quickly share new styles and looks for decor/flowers/locations, etc. for photo shoots, during market week and so, so much more! I could even see using it creatively during events for fun 'guest generated' content and unique perspectives all edited cleverly together...the possibilites seem endless!

The beauty of it is that it is connects right into your computer for instant download of digital video that can easily be shared via email or uploaded to AOL or YouTube or your blog. So simple - I set mine up and started filming within 5 minutes - a record for me!

Featured this week by Oprah as well as in the USA Today and The Wall Street Journal the FLIP is sure to be a *big* seller this holiday season especially since it is priced at an amazing $129 for 30 minutes and $149 for 60 minutes! I bought mine from Amazon using my fab Amazon Prime membership but I think they are selling them at Target and Best Buy, etc. Oh - and one of the best things - it comes in super cool colors and is small enough to fit in even the tiniest of purses!

I am sure you will 'flip for The FLIP too!'

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

"Unpack Your Adjectives!"

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!

Where am I am going with this and what in the world does it have to do with weddings? Well, today over on WeddingBee there is a post about a DJ who in the initial meeting/interview asks his clients to sum up in *3 Adjectives* what they want their wedding reception to be.

Simply. Brilliant.

I encourage you all to start asking your brides and grooms to "Unpack Their Adjectives" and share their *3 Adjectives* with you as it relates to your role in their wedding or honeymoon. [I imbedded the original clip from YouTube in the post below to refresh your memory!]

What fantastic insight this will give you into your couples - no matter the stage you are in the process - whether trying to close the sale or mid-way through the planning as a 'check in' to see if you are all on the same page with what the final event will look and feel like.

Take it one step further and go through the exercise yourself for your own business...what are the *3 Adjectives* that best describe you/your brand/what you stand for/what you offer that is unique and post it in a place that you see it often.

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!

"Unpack Your Adjectives!"

Friday, November 2, 2007

Little Black Book of Wedding Vendors

Abby over at the oh-so-fab "Style Me Pretty" has done it again! She just launched the "Little Black Book" of Wedding Vendors. Described as "a highly edited collection of wedding service providers—from mom and pop boutiques to the red carpet A-listers. Personally recommended by our closest girlfriends, industry insiders and Style Me Pretty readers, there are three, hand-picked listings per category" it is sure to be a 'must read' for discriminating brides-to-be marrying in the cities featured!

The launch features hand-picked vendors in NYC, Chicago, LA, Dallas, Atlanta, Washington DC, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, Miami, Philadelphia and Nashville.

I just love what Abby has done with both SMP and LBB and think it is a great example of how blogging is changing the wedding industry in a major way. She has a strong sense of style and in just a few short months has become a blogging [and media] darling with good reason! She has even been featured on Darcy Miller's blog and on the Martha Stewart Show!

The term 'networking' continues to evolve and is impacting all of our business - it is exciting and challenging at the same time but I am watching some up and comers on the fast track to becoming major forces and seeing some fantastic 'unknown' vendors become almost overnight success stories!

Would love to hear from you all about your 'new media' initiatives and how it is changing the face of your business...drop me a line or add a comment!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Rock Star Bride

Hi everyone! We are back from shooting the TV show and I promise a FULL update as soon as possible - it has been an intense week and a half to say the least!!!

In the meantime, we got an email today from the folks over at Rock Star Bride and wanted to share! RSB was launched on the concept that the wedding industry, especially accessories, need some more fun and rock star attitude added. They attract brides that are looking to go the non-traditional route for their wedding choices - with a little 'rock star attitude' of course!

Congrats and good luck to RSB for identifying a niche in the wedding industry that has yet to be fulfilled and going for it! Make sure you recommend them to YOUR 'rock star brides!'

Sunday, October 21, 2007

"Fall is the New June for Weddings"

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

Off to Cayman to shoot some TV!

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

"Worldwide Guide to Destination Weddings"

Hot off the press - the official announcement of a new special issue from the publishers of Destination Weddings & Honeymoons Magazine entitled the "Worldwide Guide to Destination Weddings" to hit newsstands right in the middle of engagement season on January 29th, 2008!

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• 407-628-4802
Carol Johnson, Associate Publisher • 908-221-9122
Allyson Archambault, Ntl. Accounts • 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

Casting Call!

I received this email today from a producer and wanted to share it with you all...sounds like a great PR opportunity! Good Luck!! [image by: aaron delesie]

"Dear Rebecca -

I am currently casting brides and their bridal parties to be the subject of a pilot for a new reality series on [a major television entertainment network...] . I'm hoping you can recommend wedding planners, vendors or venues who may have clients that might be a good fit for the show. Any help is greatly appreciated!

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."


Jessica Shweky
Killer Talent

Friday, October 12, 2007

Creating the Win-Win-Win

'Partnering that pays' is a big part of most wedding-industry success stories. No matter the business you are in, you need each other. Think about the best business you have - most likely, it has come to you from referrals either from past clients or industry partners. Those that truly 'get it' in this industry spend dedicated time nurturing those invaluable relationships, networking, appreciating each other and designing creative ways to work together. Better yet, the really innovative actually marry the two together and work together while also providing added-value to their brides...creating the 'win-win-win.'

One such example of this is a round-up of popular venues with imagery by the Chicago-based photographers Life on Prints Photography in a dedicated section of their website entitled "Places We've Been and Places We'll Be." Simply Brilliant!

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.

Kudos to this innovative photography company - I challenge you to figure out new and innovative ways to strengthen your relationships with key partners and create "win-win-win" situations in the process!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Perfect Client Gift - The Bridal Party!

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, 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

Party In Antigua!

Just back from spending a long weekend in Antigua [well - someone had to do it! *wink!*] for the grand opening of Sandals Grande Antigua's Mediterranean Village Resort. What a weekend filled with the 'who's who' in bridal media, the travel industry and even some celebs!

Excitement was in the air from the get go - I flew in with Preston [and it was fun to be with him as strangers approached him for a photo or just to express their admiration for his fabulous work!] and we met up with Sylvia Weinstock and her husband Ben upon arrival. Despite some raindrops here and there everyone was ready to party! Among the celebs and media, Kimora Lee Simmons and her boyfriend Djimon Honsou were there as were Maria Menounos covering the event for Access Hollywood, Teri Polo from "Meet the Fockers," Brooke Burke and David Chrevat, Rumer Willis and more. Shaggy and Sean Paul performed two of the nights while DJ Splyce spinned tunes the last night to a spectacular fireworks display on the beach!

We hosted a bridal media breakfast to unveil a cutting edge new honeymoon and wedding brochure depicting the brand new look + feel of Sandals and share many of the recent successes achieved in continuing to raise the bar by being innovators in the market.

It was so great to spend 4 days with old friends Carley Roney and David Liu of TheKnot, Antonia Van der Meer editor in chief of Modern Bride and Elegant Bride and her husband Peter, Diane Forden editor-in-chief of Bridal Guide, Sherri Eisenberg Travel Editor of Brides Magazine, Holli and Robert Ehrlich of Wedding Podcast Network and also make some new friends along the way!
I will share some more pics as I get them but it was a great weekend at a beautiful new resort in an idyllic Caribbean setting!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Off to Antigua!

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!

I will report back in next week with a full recap and some inside scoop on everything new under the [Caribbean] sun! Until then - off to paradise!!!


Say Yes to the Dress!

Cannot WAIT for this new show filmed at Kleinfeld debuting on TLC on October 12th at 10pm:

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

Three Years Ago Today...Billy Joel's Wedding!!

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.

Here are just a few images to reflect back on one of the most extraordinary, unforgettable events ever. Just a few of the 'best in the biz' we had a chance to work side-by-side with: Eventiste extraordinaire Marcy Blum, pioneer wedding photojournalist Terry Gruber, Lighting Maestro Bentley Meeker, Floral Designer extraordinaire Jen Stone of StoneKelly, Cake Diva Sylvia Weinstock, Hair and Makeup Master Warren Tricomi and cutting edge Catering Guru Olivier Cheng. WOW - talk about the ultimate who's who of weddings!!!!!

Best of all were the delightful, down-to-earth bride and groom: Billy and Katie who could not have been more gracious, welcoming, fun and REAL. Thank you Marcy - it was pure *magic.*

[photo credits: Terry Gruber as seen on]

Monday, October 1, 2007

Michelle Rago | Modern Bride

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

Marcy in the Morning!

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!

Destination Weddings & Honeymoons Magazine

Last night Kathryn and I enjoyed a delightful evening with Destination Weddings & Honeymoons Magazine editor-in-chief Susan Moynihan and Bonnier Publisher Sue Gilman at a wine bar in downtown Orlando. We are so lucky to have them based right here in Central Florida - but crazy schedules have kept us from getting together for far too long despite our many attempts! We had so much fun catching up and trading travel tales and wedding stories [and of course drinking some fabulous wine!] that we made each other promise to get together more often.

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

Today's Sweet Celebration!

Congrats to Sylvia on having her gorgeous cake selected as the viewer's choice for TODAY throws a destination wedding!!! This has been a really enjoyable season of the popular series and I look forward to seeing the "Breakfast at Tiffany's" wedding thrown by Darcy Miller and the brilliant team from Martha Stewart Weddings next week!