Thursday, February 28, 2008

Michelle Rago Blogs!

So excited to see the long-awaited launch of the uber talented Michelle Rago's Blog!! Her gorgeous website is updated frequently with some of the most incredible designs [and photography] and I am just truly blown away by her creativity and talent. Each event more spectacular than the last and no two even remotely resemble each other!

I have blogged about Michelle before and just think the world of her work. She is fun, down to earth and a delightful person and I have enjoyed getting to know her better since meeting her at the BFF Bridal event at Henri Bendel in NYC last spring.

Be sure to add this one to your RSS feeds - is sure to be a 'must read' for all!

Welcome to the Blog-sphere Michelle!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

"Something Borrowed..."

Congrats to client on the launch of their 2008 advertising campaign and brand new website!

The innovative concept of fine jewelry rentals for weddings and other special occasions is catching on as more and more celebrities do so when walking the red carpet. Brides can walk down the aisle in style wearing a necklace that retails for over $42,000, a bracelet that retails for over $11,000 and earrings retailing for over $4,000 for a fraction of the cost! This is one day that settling for the fake stuff is not good enough and ADORN has the answer.

The media has loved this company from day one - with features in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, In Style Weddings and many more. They are also having great success with affiliate programs for high end wedding planners, bridal salon owners and photographers - anyone who might suggest this as a unique and special option to their clients and in return receive a percentage-based referral fee. Again, the win-win-win I love to see in this industry!

They will be launching a fun, new Blog next month and are continuing to add more inventory and REAL wedding images and testimonials - so be sure to check out their site!

Kudos to founder Bert Stouffer and VP of Sales+Marketing Laura Marcusse for their commitment to 'doing it right' and offering a unique service to the wedding industry and of course to 'bling-obsessed' brides-to-be everywhere!!!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Marcy Blogs!


That is the best and only way I can describe the incomparable Marcy Blum - eventiste extraordinaire. And now the world will get to share in what those of us who know her well have always adored most about Marcy - her brilliant and insanely funny sense of humor!!

Why? Because, Marcy has become a regular blogger on none other than the Huffington Post! That means an amazing 5.7 million 'thought leaders' who visit the site regularly will get a chance to laugh out loud and be inspired by one of the wedding industries most reknowned guru's! [Yes, that is 5.7 million blog readers described as an affluent, educated audience of opinion leaders...for those of you who have yet to start your own blog - you really need to get going - blogs are here to stay!!!].

Check out her first post on Valentine's Day here and be sure to sign up to be notified of future contributions! And for those of you [living under a rock] who are not familiar with Marcy - you can read her latest BIO here.

Marcy and I had a great chance to catch up on this and so much other wedding industry *gossip* [oooops - I meant *news*!] over a wine and a spectacular dinner together at BLT Market the week before last when I was in New York. It was indulgent for the two of us to get to spend so much time together just "us" and, as always, time spent with her just leaves me wanting more, more, more!! Adore her!
In addition to this, she is the top featured "Party Planner" in the current issue of Town&Country Weddings , just finished pulling off Donny Deutsch's 50th Birthday Extravaganza [complete with The Pussy Cat Dolls!], has her own Wikipedia entry and appeared on the TODAY show recently! Marcy has some exciting big plans for the coming year - and I will be sure to share them here as soon as I can! Hugs to her!! - Explore Globally, Plan Locally

Have you checked out the super cool site: yet? Delight your clients by giving them a *hot* tip they will thank you for - a FREE, interactive and fun Wedding Map that they can easily add to their own wedding websites!

I enjoyed having them as a recent client for a review+assessment project and am thrilled to see the exciting growth and continuing evolution of this promising website!

What is a Wedding Map? A Wedding Mapper wedding map is an interactive and personalized guide to your wedding that shows wedding guests and vendors where and when everything is taking place for the big day and weekend.

They have astounding site traffic and are already getting well over 1,500 couples a week creating personalized wedding maps for their events around the globe! They recently added some fun new DIY templates for additional personalization and to capitalize on this trend. These are really perfect for ANY couple and the guests are raving about them.

Because of their exploding growth, high search engine rankings and coveted 'early' planning-stage visitation, they have recently begun offering affordable vendor listing/advertising packages - starting as low as $9.95 per month. Couples are also starting to use the site as an invaluable planning tool and relying on past WeddingMapper couples who give extensive vendor reviews and recommendations to make their venue and vendor selections.

I highly recommend you spend some time on WeddingMapper to explore maps in your own region and see what brides are doing and saying!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

10 Incredible Years!

Impossible to believe that 10 years ago today, *February 21, 1998* I married the most 'outstanding' person in the world for me...Patrick! It has truly been the most incredible ten years of my life - filled with joy and laughter and of course blessed with two special little girls!!!

We all watched our 'wedding movie' tonight together...and it truly stands the test of time! It also really brought home to me that at the end of the day - through the dreaming and wishing and planning and agonizing and stressing about a wedding --- it really is all about the people that come together to celebrate this milestone occasion with you and the memories that they help you to create.

And more than ever, it makes you realize that the many, many details that were once so critically important fade over time...and all that you have left are the images and moments captured on film to help you remember them by. I have always been and will continue to be the biggest proponent of investing in the best professionals you can possibly afford to capture your wedding day...your most cherished memories are in their hands!

We were so very blessed to have had not one but three camera crews on hand for the entire 4-days of our 300+ person destination wedding 'extravaganza' - some of the most respected wedding professionals in the industry: wedding photography guru Andy Marcus of Fred Marcus Photography in NYC, Mitchell Sturat of HQ Productions who blew us away with video and John Unrue who shot over 2,500 black and white-only images on film [and took the image above]!

I feel today the same way I felt 10 years ago - like the luckiest girl in the whole world!!!! Happy Anniversary Sweetie!!!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Breaking Industry News: Martha Stewart Buys WeddingWire

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Enters Transactions With WeddingWire

MSLO Expands its Weddings Franchise by Taking 40 Percent Stake, Signing Commercial Agreement with Online Wedding Planning Company

NEW YORK, Feb. 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. NYSE: MSO today announced a series of transactions with WeddingWire (, a localized wedding platform that combines an online marketplace with planning tools and a social community. The deal is part of MSLO's strategy to accelerate its digital footprint and expand its Weddings franchise online and in print. It includes the acquisition of approximately 40 percent of the equity in WeddingWire and a commercial agreement related to software and content licensing and media sales.

WeddingWire was created by a team of entrepreneurs, including two founding members of Blackboard Inc., to provide engaged couples with comprehensive vendor search and easy-to-use online planning and community tools. The platform's SmartMatch(TM) technology allows brides and grooms to find, research, and receive quick price quotes from vendors in their area, saving couples time, energy and money. WeddingWire offers a range of additional applications, including tools for creating a wedding website, managing budgets, guest lists, and seating charts. It also features social networking and user-generated content tools to help couples make better, more informed decisions.

Read Release in its entirety HERE.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Trash the Cake?!

Forget "Trash the Dress..." do I detect an even newer trend in "Trashing the Cake!?!" Check out this wild pic from the amazing Genya Garrett based in Panama City Beach, FL [be sure to check out her totally fun blog!]. I am dying to know the real story behind this and will share details when I get them!!

Speaking to The Knot

I am back from a crazy and intense 2+ weeks out of the office traveling on client business. I have SO much to blog about - and so little time to do it! So, in totally random order, I will just begin!!

I was completely honored to be asked to be the keynote speaker for this year's National Sales Meeting for The Knot + WeddingChannel. Wow. This past Monday I addressed over 140 members of their executive team at Disney's BoardWalk Resort. The topic was "Creating a Consultative Selling Approach" and was based on my experiences as a wedding industry consultant for the past 6 1/2 years in addition to my view from the client-side of the business for the past 17 years! It was an amazing morning and I was totally energized by the entire group.

It was wonderful to get an email later that afternoon from the incredible Carley Roney [who surprised me by giving my introduction to the team] :

"Can I tell you again what a rock star you are? David was really floored and he is not an easy one to impress and all of our people say you are the best speaker we've ever had. I can't thank you enough. So inspiring!"

I just love the energy in a room of wedding-industry professionals - it is unlike any other audience. Wedding industry speaking engagements are becoming an increasingly bigger part of the Engaging Concepts 'mix' and that is thrilling. To be able to share my unique experiences and point-of-view gained by working in so many facets of this special 'wedding world' with so many of the best and brightest minds in the industry is truly the perfect intersection of my passions. I am looking forward to exploring opportunities to further this aspect of the business in the coming year - so stay tuned!

Thanks again to Carley Roney, David Liu and the wonderful Lisa Aballo for pulling it all together - it was such an honor and pleasure to address their dedicated team of professionals - cannot wait to see what 2008 will bring for The Knot - these wedding brand innovators and undisputed market leaders!!

ENGAGING DAY: The Biggest Day of Your Year!

Happy Valentine's Day from Engaging Concepts! To those of us in the wedding industry - today is the SuperBowl - the biggest single day of the year in terms of engagements. It also bookends 'Engagement Season' which starts every year with Christmas Eve and ends today - the day that is dedicated to all things "Romance!"

We had some fun with this free e-card from PosePrints - and sent it to our clients. And yes, we know, it takes GREAT 'artistic license' with us [*wink!*] but was as close as we could get it - a girl can dream, right?!

Hope the day brings you many, many excited and qualified newly engaged leads - embrace them with genuine excitement and heartfelt congratulations !!! Cheers to the '08 wedding season ahead!!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

On the Road Again!

The travel whirlwind continues! After an intense but successful week in Jamaica with Sandals, Preston and the *hot* young photography talent of Scarlett Lillian who documented the event - I am back but headed tonight to NYC for the whole week for the Cayman Islands Global Meetings where I will be presenting to the Minister of Tourism and the entire global sales + marketing team for long-time client: The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism.
Booked morning until [late] night - I will manage to squeeze in a few dinners with cherished friends Randy Fenoli, Fashion Director of Kleinfeld and the incomparabe industry icon, Marcy Blum!
I promise full updates when I return to office on the 12th - and dig out from under the piles that are quickly growing!!
[above photo of a recent wedding in Grand Cayman by Rebecca Davidson]