When the wedding is called off, it can be a devastating experience. About two years ago, a wedding I was planning was called off with less than a week before the actual wedding day. I published this article with Huffington Post sharing what it’s like from a wedding planner’s perspective.
One of the most popular questions I am asked as a wedding planner is what the most popular time of year is to get married. I usually can answer that question before it’s completed because I am asked it that much.
Specifically, September followed by October.
I rarely get a reaction other than surprised. Because most people still think Spring and Summer are everyone’s favorite season for weddings. But why?
In this blog, I’m giving you a list of reasons that will make you want to wed in the Fall.
Let’s start with the obvious, and that’s the kick ass weather that most locations have in the Fall. I could write a whole blog about the weather alone being enough of a reason to pick a Fall wedding date…
But this is a list blog, so I can’t do that.
Maybe it’s not so obvious that weather is the biggest reason to wed in the Fall. As I said a few paragraphs above, everyone is always so surprised that Fall is the most popular season for weddings.
Spring weddings can be cold and rainy, and Summer weddings can be hot and sticky. Oh, and Winter weddings? I guess if you like blizzards, ice storms and asking everyone to travel in potentially treacherous conditions, then that’s the season for you.
Fall brings drier days and less humidity, and depending on your location, the most popular months will range between September-November. Even early December weddings are gaining popularity since some places still have gorgeous weather that time of year.
As much as there might be a few people on your guest list that you’re secretly hoping will decline, every couple wants to see a packed dance floor all night. Certain times of the year will put the odds more in your favor.
Everyone is busy, but in the Summer, people are usually busy going on vacation. If no one is in town, then no one will be at your wedding. You don’t avoid this either by having a Memorial Day or Fourth of July Weekend wedding. Why not? Because people want to use those weekends for themselves, that’s why.
Spring is another popular time for vacation between the holidays and that little thing called “Spring Break” that isn’t exclusive to just the college crowd. Easter and Passover can eat up the calendar as your guests could be traveling or, you might not be able to host your ceremony in a religious house because of the conflict.
Winter weddings might yield all positive RSVPs, but all it takes is one snowstorm to have plans change with less than 24 hours before the wedding day. If you successfully dodge the blizzard bullet, you have to tap-dance around some major holidays that could easily take priority over your wedding day.
People are generally in town once Fall hits, and aside from a few holidays here and there, nothing really wipes out date options. In fact, depending on what you and your guests celebrate, some holidays will create 3-day weekends that you can use to your advantage.
The flowers that are available in the Fall are abundant to say the least. Not only that, but the flowers that you’ll get to choose from, are ones that you probably already want.
No, peonies are not a Fall flower, but there is a better option and you can read about it in this blog here.
Many brides associate Spring as the most popular time of the year because that’s when everything is finally in bloom. But it’s just starting to bloom. It’s not like Winter’s over and bam! Roses, dahlias, sunflowers everywhere!
We don’t think of Fall as “flowers”, but in the wedding world, we should.
It’s not just about the flowers in your centerpiece and bouquets either…it’s about your surroundings. Which brings us to:
Even if your ceremony, cocktail hour and reception are all indoors, you will likely take plenty of pictures outside. You could have the most gorgeous Vera Wang ballgown in the world, but if the trees are bare and the grass is dead, you’ll see that in your pictures.
And it’s not cute.
Snow for a Winter wedding is picturesque, but you have to get really lucky here. The snow has to fall at a certain time so that there’s enough time to get the roads cleared for your guests. But it can’t be on the ground too long because then it melts and you have muddy puddles to walk through.
You basically need a fresh powder blizzard about 24 hours before your ceremony in order to make it work, and the trees are still bare even in that case.
Spring and Summer will give you green on the trees, assuming you’re far enough into Spring. Then you just need it not to rain…See number 1 on this list.
Fall will give you green on the trees, or gorgeous shades of reds, oranges and yellows depending on the month. You also won’t have to contend with Spring pollen, bonus!
Long Sleeves and Details
Along with the better chance for sunshine over rain, Fall brings those “perfect” temperatures. You know the kind…the ones where you go outside and tell everyone who will listen that you wish everyday could be “like this”.
Outdoor wedding or indoor wedding, you’ll be spending time outside taking those pictures we just talked about. No matter what style the wedding dress, Summer brides tend to suffer from the heat.
Know what doesn’t mix well with sweat? Make-up and hair.
Let’s not forget the sunburn factor either.
Spring and Winter allows brides to wear comforters masquerading as ballgowns a lot easier, but bare shoulders and arms can get pretty cold. The Fall offers a wider swing in temperatures; warmth during the day that isn’t hotter than the surface of the sun like in the Summer, and cooler in the evening where you’re likely tearing it up on the dance floor anyway.
The bottom line is: brides can really wear whatever style they want, including those popular long sleeve gowns in the Fall, without worrying about heat stroke.
Grooms and groomsmen matter too, and outside of Fall, it can be a recipe for disaster. If it’s cold, they’re giving up their tuxedo jackets to the bridesmaids. If it’s warm, they’re giving up their tuxedo jackets and complaining about having to wear them in the first place.
While I am not going to insist from a designer perspective that you have to use certain colors during certain times of the year…
Yeah, I actually am going to do just that.
The pale pink, blush, champagne combination is done and it’s done a lot. Brides are making it their own by working in pops of deeper colors, and those deeper colors belong in Fall. (I’m not even going to address Winter wedding colors because it’s Winter and it snows and stop having Winter weddings already).
The jewel tones look amazing in the Fall, but they are unexpected in the Spring and Summer. I am a huge fan of using color; in flowers, in wardrobe, in lighting…and Fall weddings allow you to get more creative than just repeating something you saw on Pinterest.
For instance, these gorgeous bridesmaids dresses from our friends at Dessy are perfect for a Fall wedding, but would be too intense for a Spring soiree.
Bold colors, sparkles, contrasting patterns, these belong in Fall. Go for a contrast of color in your invitation suite like in the example below from our friends at Minted. A deep colored RSVP envelope or a bold border is perfect for any style Fall wedding. And one of the best things and reasons that I love Minted, is that you can order samples before deciding on the final invitation. So there’s no fear that the bold color you pick might be too bold since you can see it before sending!
Happiest Time of the Year
Everyone is happy in the Fall. Everyone.
All Winter, people complain about the snow. In the Spring, it’s never warm or sunny enough for anyone. In the Summer, everyone is over the heat and wishing for the snow they were just complaining about five minutes ago.
In the Fall, no one complains about the weather. Right off the bat you’re starting with a solid foundation of happiness.
People are psyched about hoodies and pumpkin spice everything. There’s a new holiday every month. The long season of baseball finally heats up into the playoffs and football comes back from an all too long hiatus.
Everyone loves the Fall.
Everyone including the engaged couple. Why is that important? Because once the wedding is over, you’re suddenly going to feel some level of emptiness. A Fall wedding means you have a nice soft landing when you come down off your high.
A Winter wedding means the next day is gray and disgusting and your life sucks again.
Food has become a huge priority at weddings. More and more couples are choosing venues based on the level of catering or hosting a wedding where they can bring in the caterer of their choice.
Fall food is good food.
Not to keep harping on the amazing weather, but the weather is a major reason why the food is the best at Fall weddings. In the Winter, the idea of a raw bar or anything cold for that matter, doesn’t seem like a great idea. If you get married in the Winter, at some point you’ll feel the pressure to make the menu free of cold anything.
Cocktail hours without variety are the worst.
Spring can be cold, it can be warm, and it pretty much does whatever it damn well pleases. The problem is, you have to decide the menu in advance. Know how many guests complain about a cold salad for a first course instead of a soup when they had to wear a coat to the wedding?
Summer weddings bring the opposite. Have you ever been “too hot” to eat? Yeah. That.
Farm to table and local food is a priority not just for couples getting married, but for many caterers as well now. The food options in the Fall are extensive, allowing for a creative menu with both hot and cold options.
S’mores and Bonfires
Everyone loves bonfires. Sitting around a bonfire with your friends and family is always a good time, so it’s not surprising that many weddings end with one.
Whether it’s part of dessert, the welcome party the night before or even an after party, a wedding with a bonfire is a win.
You’re not going to swing one of these with a Winter or Spring wedding. The idea of one for a Summer wedding seems good at that time, but when it’s still 85 degrees after sundown…
Along with a bonfire (or two), you can treat your guests to s’mores and other goodies. Have a food truck supply some late-night snacks and keep a few live musicians around.
I already mentioned that Fall wedding months are the happiest ones of the year for so many reasons. Engaged couples frequently feel what I refer to as “wedding hangover” when the big day is over. The comfort of the holidays and all the other good stuff associated with Fall usually keeps that hangover from being too painful.
Honeymoons help too.
Most couples will take their honeymoon within a day or two after their wedding date; or very soon thereafter. With a Fall wedding, you’ll be traveling during a season where flights aren’t canceled due to snow and ice.
Depending on where you’re going, hurricane season won’t be an issue either. This is a total bonus because the last thing you want to worry about while planning your wedding, is if your resort is going to be swept out to sea leaving you no place to go.
If you’re not planning on island hopping, Fall is a great time to really explore any part of the world. No worries about Europe being closed for the Summer for you!
Best Season Ever
Those are my 10 reasons that will make you want to wed in the Fall. Did I convince you? Was there another reason that I missed? Share in the comments below and tell me what your wedding season is and why you picked it!
Most people hear the words “destination wedding” and automatically think about getting on a plane and saying “I do” on a beach somewhere. But, in reality, the destination can be anywhere from a vineyard on the opposite coast to a castle in another country.
Even though the destination isn’t limited to a sandy beach, odds are, the location will require a flight for most people.
I’m not a huge fan of flying. Getting me on a plane without a panic attack requires a little (ok, a lot) of liquid courage. There are also plenty of people that cringe at the thought of attending a destination wedding if not due to their fear of flying, then due to their fear of going broke from traveling/losing all their airline miles.
But what if you could have the destination wedding without the flight? All around the world there exists a handful of amazing locations for a wedding that have the destination feel without the annoying airplane ride.
In this blog, I am sharing one of my absolute favorite places on the East Coast for a destination wedding that you can reach without flying the (not always friendly) skies. Bonus: beach available if you want it.
The first time I saw a bumper sticker that read “OBX”, I thought it was slang for “obnoxious”. What? That makes sense. Stop judging me.
Outer Banks or OBX is an amazing location on the coast of North Carolina. A super popular location for family vacations, this 200-mile-long string of islands boasts gorgeous beaches, outstanding food and one incredible home after the next.
Families flock to the area every summer, rent a home and stay for a week in paradise. My family is one of those families.
Because I can’t help myself, even when on vacation, weddings and events are always on my mind. One year, literally five seconds after we got back home, I found a gorgeous location for a destination wedding in OBX.
I vowed (see what I did there?) to check the place out the following summer, which is exactly what I did. Just a few short months ago I got to see The Black Stallion in person and if I didn’t get caught trying to stowaway in a closet, I would still be there.
It was a shed.
The Black Stallion is my favorite type of wedding venue: a private home. There is nothing better than a beautiful home as the backdrop for a wedding. There just isn’t. Why do you think “Father of the Bride” was and still is so popular?
But unless you’re in the super small percentage of people that either has or has access to a private home for your wedding, you’re going to need to rent one to make this dream happen.
As a wedding planner, I have worked with countless couples that wanted to host their wedding at their home or a family member’s home. The percentage of times it has actually worked out?
In the single digits.
There are so many factors that go into designing and planning a wedding at home. However, that is for another blog at another time. In fact, I’ll probably write it and link it right here sometime in the near future.
Finding a home to rent is no easy task either, and I’ll be sure to include all the reasons why in the previously mentioned, yet to be written, blog. So, when a private home like The Black Stallion exists, it’s time to pop the bubbly and start planning.
Ok, enough intro and nonsense…let’s talk about this amazing destination wedding venue, shall we?
The Black Stallion is located in The Currituck Club in Corolla and has 24 bedrooms. The property sleeps 55 people, and just like all OBX homes, the rental time is for one week. This means you (the engaged couple) would head down to the home in advance of the guests for pre-wedding festivities.
The home is hooked up with major amenities and a gorgeous pool. In addition to the property details, the beach is basically right there and perfect for getting together with your group as well as hosting your wedding ceremony.
Wedding Planner Tip: Outer Banks does not have any private beaches. This means your wedding can and likely will become a spectator sport.
Not one of those couples that associates “destination wedding” with “beach location”? Good news: you don’t have to at The Black Stallion. Personally, I am not a big fan of beach weddings in general. Beach BBQ? Beach party? All good. Beach wedding? Hard pass if I have the choice.
The Wedding Weekend
With any destination wedding, guests typically arrive two days in advance of the big day. Anyone that knows anything about OBX knows that rentals are Saturday-Saturday. The Black Stallion, however, offers a Sunday-Sunday rental, allowing couples to have that Saturday wedding they can’t have anywhere else.
Since there is room for up to 55 people to sleep, those planning a smaller wedding can have everyone stay right there on site. Those with larger guest counts can offer both hotels and additional house rentals as needed. Getting everyone to The Black Stallion is super easy too, as they will assist you with all of your transportation needs.
Given that the property is so large, there’s no reason to host any of your events in the same place. From welcome drinks through the day after brunch, the options include outside under a tent, inside the home, around the pool or even on the pool with a lucite floor beneath.
One of the biggest challenges with hosting a wedding at a private home, is having to bring in everything including the kitchen sink (literally). The Black Stallion has the appeal of a private home, but the staff of a wedding venue. From the basic rentals to the catering, they will work with you to bring it all together so you don’t have to worry about forgetting a thing.
Of course, if you have a wedding planner by your side, even better. But, I digress…
Best Day Ever
Once the wedding weekend activities are completed, the rehearsal is done, and there’s nothing left to do except exchange the rings and party away, The Black Stallion becomes the wedding backdrop of your dreams.
Even getting ready is an amazing experience at this place. There are separate locations to keep the engaged couple apart until the first look or the walk down the aisle. In fact, those separate locations are actually in a separate building from the main house, allowing the couple and their wedding party the privacy they need to prep for the day.
Whether you choose to have your wedding on a nearby beach or on-site, there are plenty of options available. Your cocktail hour and reception locations are also endless, but why not have your reception over the pool?
The first time I saw this property on Instagram, it was a picture of a dance floor over the pool. This is so far from standard at any other property I know of, but it’s a thing at The Black Stallion. You don’t have to worry about the normal stuff like insurance and expenses that another venue can’t even give you because they’ve never done anything like that before.
The Black Stallion does this.
You want this?
Go to a place that does this on the regular.
Noise ordinances plague private locations, but that’s not the case here. You can have your band or DJ play from cocktail hour through reception and into the after party and not worry about the time. Imagine dancing under the stars at midnight on top of a pool to your favorite music. I mean…what???
Of course, if you’re going to have your wedding at The Black Stallion or any outdoor location, you have to factor in the weather. Another advantage at this location is how adaptable the house is for Plans B, C and D. No worries about making the call to move indoors days in advance either.
There are, however, better times to visit OBX than others. The most popular time for a wedding in the Outer Banks is either the end of March-June or September-November. I asked Danielle, from The Black Stallion, her thoughts about picking the best time:
“Rental prices are generally less expensive compared to the summer and the weather is still amazing. That being said, The Black Stallion is uniquely positioned for all four seasons! We’ve had some gorgeous winter weddings (picture a large Christmas tree next to the spiral staircase and a heated clear top tent in the backyard). And, who doesn’t love summertime at the beach!”
The Most Amazing Destination Location Ever?
As a wedding planner, I’ve planned my fair share of destination weddings. If you follow me on social media or have been around this blog long enough, you probably know how in love I am with Bermuda for a location.
I mean, not just for weddings, but yes, absolutely weddings.
Besides everything else about The Black Stallion that I love, one of the things I love the most is that a flight isn’t necessary. Yes, if you’re reading this blog outside of a certain area, you probably still need to hop on a plane. For many people though, the general location of OBX is drivable and thus perfect for a guest list where people are scattered everywhere.
Are there other locations in The Outer Banks for weddings? Yes. But nothing comes close to everything The Black Stallion offers. It’s more than just a beautiful home, it has the amenities that are sometimes impossible to find anywhere else and it’s guaranteed to actually impress your guests.
Rates range between $10,000-$35,000, but, like any other wedding, the numbers totally depend on the details. If you would like more information about The Black Stallion and having the best wedding week ever there, you can contact Danielle at email@example.com.
I asked her if she had any other advice for engaged couples planning their wedding day at this amazing location:
“And, of course, we recommend hiring a wedding planner / day-of coordinator so you can enjoy your special day!”
See? They’re super smart too.
We’ve all heard the saying “expect the worst and hope for the best”, right? Well, as a wedding planner, I only want the best for my couples and I don’t rely on hope to make it happen. On the wedding day, my team is putting out fires before our couple even smells smoke. While we don’t wear capes and we’re still working on the ability to fly, there is one thing we have in common with superheros: an amazing set of tools, also known as, our wedding day emergency kit essentials.
I bet you’ve seen other blogs and lists of emergency kit must have products, right? They’re all pretty similar with the same obvious items like bobby pins and hairspray, but what about the not so obvious stuff?
In this blog, I will reveal what is in my bag of tricks on the wedding day so that you really can be prepared for anything. Plus, I’ll talk about why certain emergency kit essentials are better than others and provide you with a free printable shopping list.
Read on to find out what a real wedding planner has in her wedding day emergency kit! And if you haven’t seen our vlog where we take a trip to Target for a bunch of the stuff below, you can check that out right here!!
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through to make a purchase.
Over the years, my emergency kit has only increased in size. Why? Because with almost every wedding there is a new emergency and something new that I need to add to my kit.
But I can’t wheel around my suitcase every time I leave the room on a wedding day. Through much trial and error, I have developed a system where everything goes into a roller suitcase, and then I break up the emergency kit into smaller ones with absolute essentials.
Whether you are the bride or a wedding planner, I highly recommend investing in a great suitcase to hold all of those emergency kit essentials. Unlike the wedding gown, this is something you actually can use again, so it’s not a purchase for a one-time use. My favorite feature on my emergency kit bag? The wheels.
I love this spinner from Target because it’s the perfect size, it has compartments and it’s on wheels. In the outside compartments I keep things that I regularly grab on the wedding day like tissues and hairspray. Believe me, you don’t want to be this close to crying off your mascara and then have to dig to the bottom of the bag to find something to dry those tears.
Obviously I can’t carry this all day and I do a fair amount of moving around from room to room or even location to location. This is where the smaller bags come in, not just for me, but for everyone on my team. Let’s be real, I can’t be in two places at the same time, so each member working with me has a small bag with the absolute and always used essentials.
I also keep a small emergency kit of these essentials in the room where the bride and bridesmaids are getting ready so that they can grab what they need anytime.
If you’re a wedding planner, it makes total sense to have a large bag like the one above and a few smaller ones with the basics. Later in this blog, I am sharing a free printable shopping list that includes just about everything in my wedding day emergency kit. You might look that over and decide that a smaller case or a few smaller cases is better for you. I love using make-up cases like this one because the true essentials are small enough to fit into one case, and it’s easy to carry around if you need to.
No matter the carrying case you choose, make sure to choose one that is easy to access and that doesn’t have a ton of zippers and buttons.
The What and The Why
Every list of wedding day emergency kit essentials I have seen has been the same handful of items with no explanations. The problem with that is certain items shouldn’t be substituted, and other items are available in various forms. This is all important because you don’t want to take the time putting together a kit, only to get stuck with what you don’t need on the wedding day.
Tylenol v. Advil
Often suggested for emergency kits and bathroom baskets is either Tylenol or Advil. But the two are not interchangeable. Tylenol should never be combined with alcohol, and if your wedding is like every other wedding, it will include alcohol. Play it safe and pick up Advil instead.
This might seem pretty obvious, but when you’re planning a wedding, sometimes common sense goes out the window. When including bobby pins in your wedding day emergency kit, be sure to get different sizes and different colors. I am a huge fan of these bobby pins that are available in different shades of different colors.
Mints v. Gum
Nothing looks worse in photos than the groomsmen chewing on gum while walking down the aisle. A lot of emergency kit lists will include mints and not gum, but that’s one of those interchangeable products. To prevent the cow chomping, keep the mints and ditch the gum. My favorites? These right here.
The Selection of Sunblock
You probably don’t give much thought as to what sunblock you buy because you’ve been buying the same stuff forever, right? That’s true for everyone else, so we like to provide a small assortment to choose from. It’s less about the SPF and more about skin sensitivity. This is the sunblock we use for kids in the wedding party and this one works well for all the grown-ups. Whatever you pick though, just stay away from the ones with tropical scents unless you want to attract mosquitoes!
The Stuff You Didn’t Think Of
The free printable shopping list provided in this blog is essentially everything I have in my emergency kit. I mentioned earlier about being prepared and no one will be better prepared for the unknown on a wedding day than your wedding planner. It’s common sense to include things like clear nail polish and eyelash glue, but, odds are you’ll need something else not found on all those other lists.
Socks. Yes, socks.
For so many reasons, socks for the guys are essential emergency kit items. As a wedding planner, I have seen the groom and groomsmen either completely forget their socks, wear the wrong color, or damage their socks on the wedding day. I keep two sets in my emergency kit: one is standard black, perfect for black tuxedos, and the other is a pack of neutral colors for those wearing something less formal.
Along with bringing socks, I also keep a bow tie and a pair of suspenders in my wedding day emergency kit. It’s always great to have a back-up of each in case anyone forgets their own. Just make sure you know how to tie that bow tie if necessary.
I have a surge protector in my emergency kit and I also included it on the shopping list. The reason I have this is because there’s frequently a shortage of outlets at the wedding location, and everyone needs to charge everything. My surge protector is this one and includes outlets and USB outlets as well. If you’re a bride, you can totally go with something simpler like this one here. Think you might not need one? Think about everyone in your wedding party with a cell phone and a charger and get one for that reason alone.
You’ll also see straws on the shopping list, which we go through at almost every wedding. Once your make-up is done, you’ll hear the make-up artist ask you to use straws when drinking. Most people I know don’t have straws readily available, so pick up a box for getting ready.
Ready to start shopping for your wedding day emergency kit? Be sure to print out your free printable shopping list before you head out to the store:
Got questions about anything on the list or think I left something off? Leave it in the comments below to help out other couples planning their big day.
Are you one of the hundreds (probably more like thousands) of brides getting married on a farm? Maybe you’ve picked out your wedding venue, but you want to make it look completely different? Between the weddings being planned in open spaces like barns, estates and museums, and those being planned in spaces that are blank slates, how to transform your wedding venue is trickier than you might think.
As a wedding planner, I specialize in creative weddings and open spaces. In this blog, I’m sharing some wedding planning advice that we give our couples and busting some myths about these types of weddings too. So, if you want to know not just how to transform your wedding venue, but everything you haven’t thoughts about yet, read on!
Let’s get one thing out of the way, and that’s the biggest myth about planning a wedding where you get to bring everything in:
You will not save money this way.
I can’t tell you how many brides call me up and tell me they want to get married on a farm “because it’s cheaper”. First of all, no it’s not. Second of all, farms and open spaces in general aren’t right for everyone and shouldn’t be selected because they are the alleged cheaper option.
While we’re on the subject, “wildflowers” aren’t really a thing and using them isn’t one of the ways you can keep wedding costs down.
The Wide Open Spaces
When I say “open space”, I am including any type of wedding venue where you’re basically building the entire thing from the ground up. Literally. This includes the following: private homes, farms, barns, wineries, and museums. Basically, all non-traditional spaces that will allow you to have a truly unique wedding design because you’re picking everything.
I’m not really sure who started the rumor that farm and barn weddings are less expensive than having a wedding in say a banquet hall or other established wedding venue. It doesn’t make any sense if you think about it. Consider a banquet hall the all-inclusive spring break vacation and a farm wedding as that ala carte trip to Europe. The banquet hall is including a whole lot more in that “per person” cost than an open space wedding venue is. Let’s break it down…
You’ve Got Nothing and Everything Costs Something
When you go to a banquet hall style wedding venue, these things are generally included:
Versus the non-traditional spaces that generally include:
See the difference?
I’m not asking that question to be a jerk either. It’s just mind-blowing to me how anyone could possibly think that a non-traditional space like a farm would be a great way to cut wedding costs. I promise you that a farm wedding or any other open space will be more expensive than most banquet hall style wedding venues.
If you believe me and you’re still all about the non-banquet hall wedding, then keep on reading. If I just ruined your day, well…thanks for stopping by.
Banquet Halls for the Basic Bride
My company does not specialize in banquet hall weddings. Crystal and marble just isn’t my style and so we generally work with couples looking for “something different”. That’s not to say we don’t plan our fair share of weddings in spaces with everything included, but when we do, we’re generally transforming the entire venue. There will be more on that later in this blog.
One of the best things about selecting a creative space for your wedding venue is the option to pick your own caterer. Established wedding venues will already have an in-house caterer/kitchen and sometimes that can limit your food selection. Foodies would do best to get married in an open space that allows them to bring in the caterer of their choice. This also means not having to commit to a caterer until after a tasting, which is never going to happen in a banquet hall style wedding venue.
The catch? Well, there are a few…
Depending on your location, you will have to follow local liquor laws, and each caterer has their own policies as well. Bringing in your own alcohol is a great way to keep wedding costs down, so take that option if you can. Other scenarios include having the caterer bring in the liquor or having a completely separate liquor vendor and then dealing with hiring barstaff that is legally allowed to pour alcohol.
Meanwhile, if at this point you’re not convinced that hiring a wedding planner for this type of wedding is a necessity, you might be crazy. Anyway…
Besides the liquor law nonsense that changes from state to state, your menu could be partially dictated by the venue you select. I planned a wedding industry event at an industrial warehouse once and we needed to bring in an outside caterer. They had a kitchen onsite but it was Glatt Kosher. If you don’t know what that means, it’s basically super strict Kosher and if you’re not following their rules (which you’re probably not if you don’t even know what Glatt means) you can’t use their kitchen. So, my caterer could not use their working kitchen, which meant they had to set up their own kitchen, outside, right down to the ovens and running water.
Creative venue spaces frequently have restrictive or smaller kitchens, or you won’t even be able to use them. Other times, the venue might have rules that directly affect the catering team. For instance, one farm that I work at a lot doesn’t allow smokers or water to be dumped anywhere. This farm is the perfect setting for a pig roast, but you’re not allowed to do it, and not being able to use water in particular ways is inconvenient for caterers. The more you inconvenience a wedding vendor, the higher your cost will be.
Does the freedom to choose your own caterer, build your own menu and have unique options for your guests outweigh everything else you’ll be dealing with? I’m treating this blog as a weeding out process, so if you haven’t run away screaming yet, let’s keep going…
A big plus to having an open space as your wedding venue is being able to get creative with more than just flowers. If you’re not down with all that food and beverage drama I laid out above, don’t worry, you can get this creative in an established venue too.
When planning a wedding in your backyard or on a farm, you’re going to need basics including tables, chairs, linens, and serveware. Many times, the catering company will be able to handle these rentals and keep them under your “per person” cost. If you’re in an established wedding venue that already provides these things, you’ll probably be able to rent different items instead. Before committing to a venue, however, make sure that you are allowed to do that.
Caterers that provide these basics are typically going to have the basics of these basics. That means round tables, chiavari or other standard style chairs, and white and/or ivory linens. Things like farmhouse and rectangle tables, different color linens, charger plates and funky wine glasses…pretty much everything you see on Pinterest, fall outside of the “basics”. Work with your caterer to find out exactly what they provide so you know what you would be responsible for.
Another thing to consider when securing rentals: set up. Specifically, you’ll need to know whom is going to handle the rentals when they are delivered to the venue and then whom is setting them up and breaking them down. You’re probably wondering who usually handles this and the answer is that it varies. Some rental companies we work with will bring in tables and chairs and place them for us, whereas other companies drop them off at the front door and bounce. If you don’t want to show up to your wedding to see 250 chairs stacked in piles, put together a plan and discuss how everything is being set up and broken down.
Design elements are a great way to transform a venue whether it’s a museum or a banquet hall space. It’s not just about what’s on the table, but in the corners and on the ceiling and basically everywhere. The vibe of a wedding should extend past the reception room. You can transform any venue by creating a unique entrance space or changing up the chandeliers.
Ceiling treatments are perfect for tented weddings, and tents are perfect for a lot of these non-traditional spaces. Fun fact: a lot of the barns available for weddings are small and max out at 150 guests. It’s because they were built to be a barn, not a wedding venue. Because of this, many of the barn weddings we plan at include bringing in a tent for the reception. We’ve also tented backyard weddings and weddings at arboretums, as well as other places where a roof isn’t included in the package.
Whether you’re using a tent or an actual ceiling, you can transform the space using flowers, lighting and draping. Flowers can be used with existing lighting fixtures, or even as a perimeter design. You can get creative with lighting by renting chandeliers to totally change up the feeling of the space, or use a wall wash color to pull together the entire design.
Draping is another way to transform any space and you’re not limited to just the ceiling. One bride we worked with absolutely hated her venue because everyone else had gotten married there or been in the space a hundred times before. We got permission to drape the entire space, including the walls, making the venue look completely different than it ever had before.
As you’ve probably figured out by now, flowers and ceiling installations aren’t what anyone would consider “affordable”. If you truly want to transform your venue though, those are the best ways to do it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not any more affordable to work with a blank space than it is to transform a venue…but I warned you guys about that in the beginning.
To Transform or Not to Transform?
Did you make it to the end of the blog? If so, thanks for sticking around. Still planning on transforming your wedding venue? Or are you getting married at an open space venue where you’ll be bringing everything in?
What advice do you have for other brides and grooms? Was there anything in this blog that you hadn’t considered before? I’d love to hear your thoughts so leave them in the comments section below.
And if you are looking for help to transform your wedding venue or design a non-traditional space, contact us right now and let’s chat!
Choosing your invitations and wedding stationery can be an overwhelming process. Where do you get inspiration and then how do you take that inspiration for your own wedding, without looking like everyone else’s? Check out this guest blog from our friends at Basic Invite, featuring tips to dress up your rehearsal dinner and invitations!
Most brides know what’s trending when it comes to wedding invitations and their special day. And for all of those pre-wedding celebrations like the bridal shower and bachelorette party… themes are where it’s at which makes those festivities just about as celebrated as the wedding. But there is one final moment before the most important day comes that is often overlooked, the rehearsal dinner!
Let’s face it, the day before the big day is so chaotic and unfortunately for the runner up rehearsal dinner things usually seem to be thrown together and the night always flies by. But rehearsal dinners deserve a bit more credit than that. It is the final moment for reflection and gathering and the single life after all!
So, let’s show rehearsal dinners some love this wedding season by using these three tips to dress it up!
Wedding websites are totally in right now and for good reason! We are living in the digital age and that means keeping up with people’s needs. Wedding websites make it so easy to let your guests know what’s going on ahead of time and in real-time with instant updates!
Where does the rehearsal dinner fit in to this? Rather than including rehearsal dinner info in your wedding invitation suite use the address request function on your wedding website to request the addresses of your rehearsal dinner guests and send out separate personalized rehearsal dinner invites to just them.
Don’t forget to accessorize! Foil details make any invitation pop! With rehearsal dinner invites, that is no exception. Usually rehearsal invites are sent on a smaller invitation so finding an aspect you want to showcase like your names or the border and make it foil!
Choose from gold, silver, or rose gold to match your rehearsal dinner theme or wedding colors.
It’s All in the Details
Rehearsal dinners are usually a more intimate affair so this is the time to splurge on details! Whether your party is low-key and laid back or black-tie attire, set out personalized coasters for guests to grab or place their drink on.
They can take it home as a favor and you get to keep the rest! It’s a super cute detail all new to Basic Invite. Choose a monogram design or upload a photo!
Put these ideas to use and head over to Basic Invite. They’re an online stationery design company providing brides with all things wedding stationery + more!
Instagram marketing can make anyone go crazy. The constant algorithm changes, the confusion about how much to post and when to post; it’s ridiculous. But, since Instagram has the highest engagement of all social media platforms, it’s really important to know what you’re doing.
As a wedding professional, if you’re not taking advantage of Instagram, you’re basically leaving money on the table. In this blog, I’m giving you a crash course on how to master the Instagram game and start booking more brides.
Who Are You?
Your identity on Instagram is more important than you think to potential engaged couples. What you say in your bio has to be good enough to not only get the attention of brides and grooms, but so good that they contact you and hopefully, book you. Because followers don’t matter if they never become actual customers.
The harsh truth? Most bios totally suck.
Before you go all crazy defensive, the reason most bios suck is for two reasons: 1. No one has any idea what actually needs to go in one and 2. Most people don’t realize just how important the bio is. They say you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, but if the cover is ugly, you’re probably not going to read the book, right?
So what should go in your bio? With only 150 characters available, you have to use this space wisely. Don’t get all cutesy in the hopes that brides will laugh themselves straight over to your contact form to book you for their wedding. Personality is important, as I mentioned in a previous blog, but telling brides who you are and what you can do for them is way more important.
To help create your bio, ask yourself these questions:
Who is your account for?
What kind of brides are you trying to attract?
After The Intro
Once you’ve created the dream bio, it’s time to tackle everything else that follows. Too many wedding professionals put wedding photos in their avatar. That is not what that space is for. When brides and grooms are scrolling for new wedding venues and vendors on Instagram, they are more inclined to click on a profile with a picture of you. But this isn’t your personal Facebook page, so keep it professional and post a headshot instead of a selfie.
You bio is also the only place where you can include a clickable link on Instagram. Your Instagram marketing tactic is going to depend on what your goal is. Do you want to get people to a specific page of your website? If so, make that the clickable link. Or maybe you’re like me and post pictures with the caption “link in bio” all the time. If that’s the case, then you want to look into using a service like Link in Profile. Now, you won’t have to worry about someone seeing one of your pictures only to go to your bio and click on a link that has nothing to do with that picture anymore.
There are countless other ways to use a clickable link to your benefit, as well as secrets to using emojis and hashtags in your bio. To have us design your customized bio for your Instagram marketing plan, contact us to get started!
A Picture is Worth 1,000 Hashtags
The never ending mystery of the hashtag universe. Mastering your hashtag game is essential for kicking ass at Instagram marketing. For those of you that don’t get it, think of hashtags as search terms. If you went on google to look for something, what would you type in? Brides and grooms go on Instagram and use it as a search engine in the same exact way. And just like google, the goal is to show up on the first page of results.
Using hashtags is just the beginning though, because if you’re using the wrong hashtags, you’re going to lose this game. Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags and while you don’t have to use all 30, I can’t think of a good reason not to.
What do I mean by “wrong hashtag”? If you post a picture of a bridal bouquet, don’t use the hashtag “wedding reception”. Why? Because when brides use “wedding reception” as their search term, they aren’t looking for a bridal bouquet. The result? They scroll right on by, not even clicking on your picture, and you just wasted a precious hashtag.
But figuring out hashtags is soooooooo harrrrrrddddddd!!!!!
Yeah, I know. Some hashtags have millions (yes, millions) of pictures associated with it on a rolling basis. You want to use a mix of competitive hashtags and ones that aren’t competitive as all hell. Seem like a lot of work? We will put together a customized hashtag list (or 2, or 3 or 500) for you, saving you time while helping you attract your ideal bride. Contact us to find out more.
Want to try the hashtag game out for yourself and not sure where to start? If you’re not ready to contact us just yet (we’ll be here anytime, no worries) then do the absolute next best thing and get yourself a Tailwind account. Tailwind is legit amazing. Along with the countless other features that I’ll talk about later in the blog, Tailwind will help you find the best hashtags for your captions and even tell you which ones are the most competitive. If there is only one purchase you make to help your Instagram marketing strategy, let Tailwind be it.
For more hashtag secrets including what the perfect length is and how to create your own brand hashtag, contact us today!
The Picture Game
Now that you’ve gone through the hashtag crash course, let’s talk about the more important part of the puzzle: the actual picture. Let’s face it, you could have a list of the most perfect hashtags ever, and a caption that totally kills, but if your picture is the worst, no bride or groom is going to click on it.
There are so many social media marketing coaches out there, and they all know plenty about taking the best pictures, how to do it, what lighting to use and all that other stuff. Here’s the problem with that:
It doesn’t apply to the wedding industry whatsoever.
We already have the professional pictures, so working with a coach or paying for some e-book for how to style the perfect picture is a waste of time and money. We offer social media marketing services specifically for members of the wedding industry. So, if you’re looking for help in this area that actually applies to, you know, weddings, then let’s talk.
Not quite ready to take that step and just looking for a few quick pointers to try out on your own? Keep on reading!
First and foremost, only post professional pictures. I don’t care if you’re a florist, a photographer or a DJ; your entire Instagram feed should be full of nothing but professional pictures. Selfies and the like belong in your Instagram stories, which I’ll talk about later in this blog. When posting pictures, always give credit to the photographer. Seriously. Tag them, mention them in the caption, but give them credit. People that don’t credit the photographer are assholes. Fact.
Next, be sure to mix it up, while staying true to your brand. Post pictures that relate to current wedding trending topics and make sure to use those topics as part of your hashtags.
The one thing you should never ever do? Post other people’s work unless you are using the re-post app. If there’s one thing that makes me want to reach through my phone and strangle a wedding vendor, it’s seeing someone else’s work posted on their Instagram page. I do not care one bit if you mention in your profile that not all of the pictures are yours. Besides wasting space in your 150 characters or less bio, anyone that finds your picture using hashtags might not even see that.
It’s also not OK to post a picture and write some adorable caption about how “inspired” you are by an image (that isn’t yours). If you’re really inspired, use the repost app (it’s free) and share the image that way, while also tagging the account that you’re borrowing the photo from.
Yes, it matters when you post. With the brand new algorithm changes (which you can read about in this blog here) Instagram has made it crystal clear that when you post is important.
I know, I know, your feed doesn’t look chronological so why does it matter, right? Well, it’s about to be and you can read all the detailed details in the blog I linked above. But if you don’t care and you just take my word for it (the easiest path to go down) then let’s just focus on how to know when to post. Cool?
As promised, I’m going to talk about the magic of Tailwind once again. Along with generating the best hashtags for you, they also analyze your profile to tell you the best times on which days to post. You have to enter how many times a day you want to post, but Tailwind will do the rest. Bonus? They’ll even post to Instagram for you, basically allowing you to put this social media platform on auto-pilot so you can have time to do actual wedding related stuff.
For the most part, working with an app like Tailwind will save you a lot of time. But (you knew it was coming) if your pictures aren’t the right size, you could be posting blurry images on auto-pilot, or not be posting anything at all.
An important step to take is to make sure your pictures are the correct size for Instagram. This goes for your feed as well as your stories. Before you go cropping crazy on your photos, make sure the photographer is cool with it first. Oh, and never crop out a watermark.
For more information on the exact sizes you need for your feed and stories, and my favorite website that does all that boring work for you, email us right now!
What’s Your Story?
250 million users watch Instagram stories daily. Stories are the absolute best way to get in front of engaged couples that don’t know you even exist. Authenticity is a big deal right now, and IG stories gives you a chance to show brides who you really are.
If you’re new to the IG stories game, spend some time checking out the filters and different features available. Once someone views your story, they won’t see it again. In fact, they won’t see it again until you post another story. Every time you post a story, your avatar will go to the beginning of the story feed of your followers. Translation? Post often.
What to post? Get creative. Behind the scenes content is always a favorite, but you can also create polls and ask questions in order to get people interacting with your profile. By featuring popular landmarks and tagging them, users will be able to find your profile just because they were searching for the place you’re at. And since 90% of online shoppers said they find videos helpful when making purchase decisions, be sure to use your stories for videos as often as possible.
To work with us on creating content for your stories and how to showcase your business, contact us here.
Moral of the IG Marketing Story?
Social media users are 40% more likely to share visual content over anything else. As a wedding professional, if your Instagram marketing strategy is solid, you will start to book more brides. Make it clear to engaged couples why they should not only follow you, but book you for their wedding.
What has been working for you on Instagram? Have you started booking more brides by using stories or hashtags? Share in the comments below what your secret strategy is!
For personalized coaching and help with your Instagram marketing strategy, contact us today to get started. We’ll show you marketing secrets that you can start using right away, plus you’ll receive printable materials, customized hashtags and more tricks to winning the Instagram marketing game. We’ll also tell you the real deal behind how many followers you have and the amount of people you should be following.
Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram too!
Let us do the hard work for you and spend less time on social media and more time on weddings! Learn more right here!
Do the words “Instagram algorithm” make your blood run cold? No? Just me?
Managing social media is a full time job, and for most wedding pros, it’s not only confusing but requires time they don’t have. We work with wedding pros on everything from social media marketing (including Instagram) to blogging and SEO. But if you’re not ready to say “I do” to working with us just yet, be sure to keep visiting this blog for plenty of freebies!
In today’s blog, we’re bringing you all the details behind the new Instagram algorithm and exactly what it means for wedding pros. You’ll also get plenty of ideas how to take advantage of these new changes and turn those followers into customers.
I’m guessing you hate seeing posts on your Instagram feed that are weeks old, right? Pretty much everyone I know participated in riots when Instagram decided that a chronological feed was so over. Well, you can stop burning buildings down because the algorithm change is putting things back in order. At least….for the most part.
How you use Instagram has always played a factor in how your feed appeared. For instance, the more you engaged with an account, the more it would show up in your feed. With the new algorithm, Instagram will still consider your behavior, but it won’t be the only thing that determines what you see.
The “scrollers” of Instagram are the people that will get that chronological feed back that we’ve all been missing. So, if you are that person that slides down your feed on the regular, then you’ll be seeing posts in order. More importantly though (since this blog is about marketing to brides) now your content will show in order for those scrolling brides that follow you. How do you take advantage of that?
Right Time and Place
Brides aren’t scrolling IG morning, noon and night…this isn’t Pinterest after all. So finding out exactly when they are scrolling is more important now than ever. It’s more about when instead of only engagement and content, which I’ll talk about later in this blog.
But how can you figure out the best time to post? Sure, there are plenty of info-graphics available that will give you the “supposed” best times. However, those info-graphics are cookie-cutter nonsense. There are times when the average engagement across any social media channel will be higher than others, but that’s not enough information to determine the best times that you should be posting.
For that, there’s one of my favorite apps that I’ve mentioned a thousand times before, Tailwind. If you’re a wedding professional and you’re not using Tailwind for your social media, then you are wasting your time! Tailwind for Instagram is able to do so much, including give you the best times to post for maximum engagement. For other tips and tricks on how to make your Instagram stand out, check out this blog or contact us to plan your social media marketing strategy!
Judging a Vendor by Their Cover
Just because you’re in the right place at the right time on the feed of your potential bride to be, that doesn’t mean she’s going to engage with you. I mentioned in this previous IG blog how no one is going to read a book if the cover isn’t cute. Besides getting the timing right, your content game has to be strong AF.
If a bride isn’t already following you, then they can find you in various other ways. No matter the path they take though, it’s still you versus your competitors. Consistent strong content will win the bride every time, but that doesn’t mean to post three times in a row. In fact, if you do that, Instagram will likely break up those posts with other accounts that are being followed. Schedule everything through Tailwind and forget about it!
Engagements, Not Just for Couples
You’ve probably heard the term “organic reach” one too many times by now. A struggle that many wedding professionals have had in the past is trying to determine where to advertise. What’s the answer to getting in front of the “right” brides and grooms? Print? Wedding websites?
It’s becoming more and more obvious that social media and wedding blogs are a favorite place for engaged couples to look for wedding venues and vendors. Social media can be a game changer in your business if you do your marketing right.
While calling this a “game” may make it sound cold and robotic, in order to stand out from the crowd, you have to be anything but that in terms of engagement.
I don’t mean spamming pictures with the same lame comments and emojis. I mean posting comments on pictures you genuinely like and writing something authentic. The more you engage on an authentic level, the more relevant you are to Instagram under their new algorithm. As a wedding professional, this is great news because it gives you another way to connect with engaged couples not yet following you, as well as the ones who already are.
The more you exchange comments, the more frequent and higher up you will show in your followers’ feeds (whether they are the scroller type or not). Tagging is another way to show Instagram you’re worthy of showcasing to more people.
Marketing Tip: Encourage your followers to tag you in their posts, which will make your profile show up more frequently in their feed.
Want more tips on engagement? Contact us to put your plan together!
Lies You’ve Heard
When Instagram released the details of their latest algorithm, they also took some time to debunk a few myths:
Your reach doesn’t change if you have a personal account or a business account. So, if you’ve been afraid to take the business account leap, it’s time to jump.
Shadowbanning is bullshit and doesn’t exist. If you’re using a popular hashtag, you have very little chance of being seen…but that doesn’t mean you’re “banned”.
Instagram Stories and Instagram Live Videos do not help you rank higher in the feed.
More to Come
Along with the algorithm changes, Instagram is planning to roll out a ton of other updates throughout 2018. Here is a sample of what you’ll be seeing soon:
Group video chats
New explore page
Make and share your own filters
For marketing ideas on how to use these future updates to book more brides, contact us now!
The New Instagram Algorithm + Wedding Pros
In general, I am a huge fan of the new algorithm and really excited about the features to follow. You can’t not be excited about a more chronological feed, right? What is your favorite update and how will you change your Instagram game? Leave a comment below to share your strategy!
Want even more information or looking for some assistance with your Instagram marketing? Not sure if the amount of followers matters anymore? What’s the right amount of people you should be following? Get in touch with us today for personalized social media marketing, access to tons of printables and private coaching from someone already in the wedding industry!
If you’re a wedding professional like me, you probably know how important having a Pinterest page is. There’s nothing better than booking brides from Pinterest because you’re attracting your ideal client and it costs you nothing. But between constant algorithm changes and the time it takes to manage a Pinterest page, it’s really easy to make mistakes.
Mistakes that can mean the difference between booking another wedding and…well…not.
I am highlighting the 10 biggest mistakes I see being made on Pinterest in this blog. Read on to see if you’re making any of them and find out how to fix them all!
Your Page is Ugly
The way your Pinterest page shows up is more important to brides than you might think. If your page is a mess of pictures, with no clear board descriptions or details, why would an engaged couple want to book with you? You wouldn’t have a consultation with papers all over your desk, would you? Time to clean that mess up that is your Pinterest page.
This is a screenshot from part of my Pinterest page. I have a whole bunch of boards and I present them in a clear and organized fashion, making it easier for brides to find exactly what they want. Since Pinterest has recently introduced the ability to follow individual boards instead of following the account (and thus all of their boards), it’s important to cater to that bride.
You can make up as many boards as you want, but take it up a notch by adding a cover board. Each of my boards has a main picture on the left that gives the title of that board. I use the same font and layout to make the overall look seamless. This is so easy to do, so you have no excuse! I am a big fan of Canva and use it for everything including Pinterest board covers and even blog covers like the one you saw at the beginning of this post (and every other post). Canva takes a little while to get used to, but once you do, you’ll wish you had found it sooner.
Oh, and did I mention it’s free? Bonus!
Of course, even if you have a Pinterest page that’s organized AF, the photos have to be pretty too. Which brings us to…
You’re Pinning Crap Photos
It doesn’t matter how good your boards look if the pictures don’t appeal to your ideal bride or groom. It should go without saying, but only post your best work. Pinterest is not the place for candids or unprofessional photos. Save that garbage for your IG stories or Snapchat.
But having great photos (not good…great) is only part of the winning combination. What’s the other part you ask? A big mistake that people make on Pinterest is posting those damn horizontal photos. You ever scroll through your home page on Pinterest and see a large amount of vertical photos? Ever wonder why that is?
They take up way more space and thus, garner way more attention. The vertical photo versus horizontal photo debate on Pinterest is a heated one, but it really shouldn’t be. You are more likely to pay attention to the image that takes up the most real estate, and that’s the vertical ones. Can you post the occasional horizontal photo? Sure, of course. Believe me, I have a lot of horizontal photos that I love and post…but if you can choose, go team vertical.
Your Images Lack Direction
Pinterest is basically a search engine. Actually, it’s not basically a search engine so much so as it is a search engine. Just like Google, Pinterest is used to find things. Things include recipes, meditations videos, memes and of course, wedding inspiration. But it’s more than just an image search. A picture might say 1,000 words, but brides want more.
How can you give them more? Send them somewhere!
Here’s an example: Bride goes to Pinterest to look for white wedding inspiration. She types in “white wedding flowers” and one of your beautiful (and vertical) images catches her eye. She goes to the picture and pins it with the 5,000 other pictures she has, only to never see it again. Your pin that you worked so hard to perfect, dies a lonely death on a bride’s board. A bride that you could’ve booked.
When you set up pins, be sure you are linking them to your webpage. More specifically, send them to your contact page so when they click on your photo, that’s where they will end up. If the photo is associated with a blog you wrote, then link it there. Just get the bride to you instead of leaving her at a dead end with no link. Then go one more step and include your call to action in the description of the pin. Let brides know that they should click on the photo, why, and where it will take them.
If you leave a trail of breadcrumbs, you’ll have brides banging on your website door in no time.
You’ve Got No Timing Game
It absolutely, 100% matters when you post to Pinterest. Just as it matters when you post to Instagram and those other social media networks, which I will touch on in future blog posts. The question is, how do you find the best times to post?
And the answer, is Tailwind.
If you’re not already familiar with Tailwind, let me introduce you to your new best friend. Tailwind has a ton of amazing features, and you’ll hear me talk about all of them across various blog posts. I go into major details in my social media marketing e-book and class, so contact me if you’re really ready to take your social media game to the next level.
In terms of using Tailwind for Pinterest, you can use their “Smart Schedule” feature to find out the best times for you to post on Pinterest. It’s personalized and based on your analytics. Forget all of those stupid info-graphics about the best times to post. What do they have to do with you? They are generic, at best, so don’t waste your time with them.
With Tailwind, not only can you find out the exact times to post every single day of the week, but you can use their “Tribes” to get even more exposure! While Tailwind does have a cost associated with it (invest in this, it’s worth it and then some) the Tribe feature is free. With Tribes, you can post your pins to a form of group boards, getting your pins seen by others that might never have seen it at all. Then these people share your pins and up goes that engagement rate!
If you take nothing else from this blog, take my advice and get yourself a Tailwind account. It’s a lot of stuff and it can be overwhelming, but their blogs are super informative and you’ll be kicking yourself that you didn’t join sooner! Click here to get started right now!
No One Cares About What You’re Pinning
I am always amazed at the lack of thought that goes into pinning by so many of you guys. We all know the wedding industry is super saturated, so why do you just pin whatever? I know, I know, how are you supposed to know what brides want?
Use the explore feature on Pinterest!
The explore feature will show you what is trending right now and you can pin images related to whatever is trending. For instance, right now “barn weddings” is trending, so I just scheduled a bunch of my farm wedding pictures to post today. Yes, I already had things scheduled, but this is one thing that a scheduler cannot do. As nice as it would be to just use Tailwind and let my Pinterest run on autopilot, that just isn’t enough.
Once a day, check out that explore feature and check out what is trending so you can join the party. If there’s nothing trending that’s wedding specific under the general explore feature, go to the “weddings” tab to find the trending topics there.
I promise you will be surprised at what is trending. Half the time I never would have guessed the trending topics and half of that time I can’t figure out why certain things are trending. But none of that matters because you want to be trending too, right?
You Don’t Know About “The First Five”
So you’ve got yourself set up on Tailwind, and you’re setting up image to pin to multiple boards at different dates and times and you’re all set. Right? They are going to post for you at your best times and your engagement will go up. Right?
Yes. But want it to go up more? Of course you do…that’s why you’re still reading!
Very quietly (like everything else all social media platforms do), Pinterest started putting an emphasis on the first five pins of the day. Your first five pins, whether they start going up at 12:01am or 3:30pm, are more important than the rest. How? What? Why?
The simple breakdown is this: when you go onto Pinterest for the first time on any day and go to your your followers tab, you are going to see the first five newest pins of the day (from people you follow). But that’s all that you will see: those first five pins from each person you follow respectively. This way, you are drowning in content from the same person.
Again, this doesn’t mean to post your 5 best pins right after midnight! Post your five best pins whenever Tailwind says you should start pinning that day. Then, when your followers see it, there is a better chance that they will interact with it. If they interact with it, then your engagement goes up and your images start showing up on homepages of the brides you are trying to book.
Bonus Tip: Pin your first 5 images directly from your website!
Your Reach is Limited
A common mistake wedding professionals make when using Pinterest is one they don’t even realize. Sucks, right?
In order to get traffic on Pinterest, you need high engagement. In order to get high engagement, you need high traffic. When will the madness stop? Never, so let’s fix this Pinterest mistake you’re making and the opportunity you’re missing out on.
There is a really easy way to get your pins seen by a captive and engaged (they getting married type) audience. Group Boards are an opportunity to put your work in front of brides and grooms that might never have found your page on their own. Despite what wedding websites will have you believe, less and less wedding planning couples are relying on inspiration from stale styled shoots on their pages. And I know you’re wondering where all of the brides and grooms have gone, because why else would you be here???
Yes, they have gone over to Pinterest, but specifically, they are utilizing Group Boards. Group Boards are a collection of boards and pins, contributed by people like you and me. There are countless boards with tens of thousands of followers that are already there, and that you can put your work in front of for free.
Brides follow these boards and while they might not have found your pins or your page, there is a good chance they will find your images on these boards. And as long as your images are strong, that will get them to your Pinterest page. And then your call to action on your pins will get them to where?
Your booking page on your website because you read this entire blog so far.
It’s super easy to find these Group Boards by using Pingroupie. Simply go to this link and start searching for wedding related Group Boards. You can filter them by a bunch of factors and choose which ones you want to join. Joining these boards can be as simple as emailing the board owner and following their posted instructions, but some boards are hard to get involved with because they literally don’t tell you how to join.
Find a board you want to join and there are no ways in? Start following the board and interact with the pins to get them to take notice. You might get an invitation so be sure to check your inbox on Pinterest every day!
You Have No Identity
So many people make the classic Pinterest mistake and ignore the importance of a bio. Or, they try to get cute in their bio, which doesn’t book brides either. But with so few characters allowed, how do you know what to include and what to ditch?
First and foremost, make sure you have a professional headshot in your avatar. This isn’t the space for some centerpiece or anything other than a professional picture of you. Brides want to know who you are and if they can’t see you, they’ll swipe left…or something like that. Point is, they won’t follow you and they certainly won’t book you. It’s all about being authentic, which I talked about in a recent blog right here. So, show them you.
Your business name should be listed, but you should also include what you do. What you do needs to align with what brides will use as a search term to find you. My profile lists Rothweiler Event Design, Wedding Planner and Ideas. I have my business name and any bride looking for wedding ideas will turn up my profile because I have that listed too.
Location can be specific or slightly broad, depending on your market. I am a wedding planner in the NYC Metro Area, so I have four specific states listed. I also have my website linked to make it easy for brides to get to all of my information. The last part is the small amount of real estate we are given for our bios. Don’t waste time being cutesy here. Be direct and tell brides and grooms exactly what you do and give them a call to action such as emailing you if they are looking for a wedding photographer/planner/florist/venue/whatever.
To Get Engaged Couples You Need to Engage
Pinterest and social media in general can feel cold and impersonal, but, in reality, it is the total opposite. The wedding professionals doing the best on social media are the ones interacting with others. They’re playing nice in the sandbox because they know that building relationships is so important in the engagement game.
Both in the couples getting married looking for wedding vendors game and the vendors talking to vendors game.
Authentic engagement is necessary across all social media channels, but right now let’s just focus on Pinterest. If you want to get help with the other channels (and Pinterest) we offer personal consulting so get my attention by going here.
The amount of followers you have on Pinterest doesn’t matter, but your engagement numbers do. Participating in Tailwind Tribes is a great way to connect, as is getting involved with Group Boards. But you can help your engagement score by interacting with others on your own.
Start by following other members of the wedding industry on Pinterest. Take it one step further by re-pinning some of their pins. Just make sure you don’t change where their image directs to (their website) because that is a no-no. Go another step further and comment on their photos with a genuine compliment. None of this stale “gorgeous picture” bullshit that you put on every picture you see on Instagram just so other accounts will see your account.
Yeah, I’m onto you.
When you leave a comment, be specific with what you like and go ahead and re-pin the image. Don’t ever drop your website or information in the comments section because that’s tacky and you’re not tacky. Carve out time every day (yes, every day), roughly 20 minutes to interact with others across all of your social media channels. This includes responding to anyone and everyone that comments on your pictures. Even the idiots that write the same shit on every picture just to increase their visibility.
And they are idiots because they don’t realize that it doesn’t increase their visibility at all.
Why Isn’t Your Blog on Pinterest?
The last and a huge mistake I see wedding professionals making on Pinterest is not using the platform to promote their blogs. I’ll be talking tips and tricks for blogging in future posts, and I even offer ghost blog and sponsored blog services which you can talk to me about by going here.
If you’re not blogging, you’ve got something to work on immediately. If you are blogging, even if you’re making mistakes you don’t know about, don’t let one of those mistakes be with Pinterest. You can drive a ton of traffic to your blog by using Pinterest correctly.
Using Canva, which I mentioned earlier in this blog, you can create gorgeous board images to showcase your blogs. At the top and bottom of this blog is the image I am using, and the one you will see on my Pinterest board as well. When I pin that image I clearly state what the blog is about using the correct keywords and hashtags (Pinterest has those now but keep it to 2-3 max) and I have a call to action to get brides to click on the picture and go read the blog.
You can also join specific Tailwind Tribes for bloggers, which is a great way to be seen as I mentioned early and about a dozen other times.
When creating the image for your blog post, it’s a great idea to use the same font and style. This way, when your blog post shows up on someone’s homepage, they will know it’s you. Be sure to add your actual website on the image as well because it’s real easy for your image to float around Pinterest and lose the website you once had associated with the pin image.
Bonus Tip: Pins related to trending topics see an average of 94% increase in click-throughs. Use that explore feature to find trending topics, blog about that and then share it on Pinterest and watch your engagement numbers skyrocket!
What do you think about these 10 mistakes you’re making on Pinterest? Are you making any of these mistakes? How are you going to fix them? Share in the comments below and let’s get that authentic conversation started!
For more information on how we can work with you to take your social media and blog to the next level, contact us right here.
It’s something many engaged couples don’t have to think about: how to plan a wedding without mom. But for those couples without a mom in the picture, the wedding planning experience will be very different. There are moments that some couples will never get to have, both when planning their wedding and on the wedding day, when mom is missing.
While there are probably thousands of blogs going up this weekend for Mother’s Day to honor a mom’s role in the wedding planning process, this isn’t going to be one of them. I’m not going to give a “Top 10” list of mother of the groom dance songs, or great gift ideas, or anything like that. Because, as a wedding planner, I have seen just how powerful the absence of a mother is for my brides and grooms. So this blog, is for them.
Before I write a blog, I create a new folder with pictures I want to include. For obvious reasons, I wanted to select wedding day photos that included either the mother of the bride or the mother of the groom.
I was shocked how few I was able to pull.
Don’t get me wrong, I work with a lot of engaged couples that have wonderful parents and great relationships with them. I just didn’t realize how many of my couples weren’t that lucky. So, if you are planning your wedding without your mom, believe me, you are not alone. Far from it.
When I say “without” mom, that doesn’t necessarily mean deceased either. Of course it can mean that, but I’ve see moms be just as absent from wedding planning while being alive. The struggles are very different, in that a bride who lost her mother to death, doesn’t even get a chance to wedding plan with her. Many brides will feel robbed of the moments like finding the gown and having it zipped up on the actual wedding day. There are countless times when a bride or groom who lost their mom to death will be overwhelmed with feelings; feelings that can easily impact the entire wedding planning process.
Then there are the brides and grooms who have difficult relationships with their moms and struggle to plan anything with her. These brides and grooms have the one person that many others wish they still have. Yet that person could be checked out of the the wedding planning or so consistently negative, that it almost would be easier if she was completely missing in action instead.
And then there’s everything in between. Whatever your relationship status is with mom, a wedding will magnify it.
Being that I plan with most of my couples for at least a full year, I get to know them pretty well. This means I find out about all the family drama, and I learn a lot about the parental dynamic on both the bride and the groom’s side. There are many planners that probably don’t get as personally invested as I do, but seeing as how two people I just met are now trusting me with a pretty important day, I like to have a solid relationship with them. Plus, knowing things like whether or not mom is in the picture, helps me to better understand my couple as it greatly impacts the planning process.
The Present But Absent Mom
I once worked with a bride who called me on a Friday afternoon and said the following:
“Can I just vent to you for a few minutes? My mom is killing me.”