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!'