» A Look Inside WeddingWire HQ

As part of our new series, ” A Look Inside WeddingWire HQ,” we want to give you an insider’s look into our office located just outside Washington, D.C. in Bethesda, Maryland. We are excited to show you our office, introduce you to some of the key members of our team, and much more!

There’s no better place to start than our entrance, here you can see our entry way and just a glimpse into one of our main conference rooms which we’ve aptly named for the road our office is located on. After just a few years, some of the more senior team members can remember they days when the whole company could fit into that conference room! Now we can barely fit one team and are looking forward to showing you all the ways we have expanded.

» WeddingWire Happy Hour Philadelphia

This past Monday, we were excited to be back in Philadelphia for WeddingWire Happy Hour! Members of the WeddingWire team gathered at The Walnut Room, near Rittenhouse Square, with Wedding Pros from the Philadelphia and South Jersey area. Similarly to our past WeddingWire Happy Hour events in San Diego and Richmond, Philadelphia and South Jersey Wedding Pros had the opportunity to mix and mingle with other local Pros across all service categories and listen to brief remarks by Kate Hoffman, Public Relations Manager, WeddingWire. A special thanks to Tim O’Brian at The Walnut Room and Chrissy with Chrissy Dumire Photography for capturing the highlights of the event!

If you were able to join us and you’re still wondering what the video you saw was saying, please click here to view it! (Please excuse our technical difficulties! We appreciate your patience!)

Congratulations to our drawing winner, Michelle Myers from Weddings By Michelle. She received a WeddingWire prize pack and HD flip video camera.


Continue reading

» When and How to Respond to a Negative Review

A former client wrote an unflattering review of your services and now you’re worried about how this will affect future business.  Fortunately, WeddingWire allows you to “Respond” to reviews in an effort to remedy the situation and deflect potential damage, but it’s important to consider when and how you respond.  By responding appropriately to a client’s review, even if you don’t agree with their comments, you show that you take a personal interest in your business and care to make it better.  Before you get started, keep these few tips in mind:

  •  Your responses are made public on WeddingWire: Don’t write anything you wouldn’t want a potential client to see.  If you come across as aggressive, argumentative or disingenuous, potential customers will see this as a turn-off and eliminate you from their list of potential vendors.  Write with your prospects in mind.
  •  Respond when you’re at fault: If someone leaves a review with legitimate concerns and complaints, it’s in your best interest to try to correct the situation.  Apologize and explain why it won’t happen again, and offer a remedy to the particular situation.
  •  Respond when the review states incorrect information: Politely correct the reviewer.  Sometimes a review is written for the incorrect business, so step in and take this as an opportunity to educate potential customers on your pricing, policies and business practices.
  •  Don’t add fuel to the fire: Some clients will never be satisfied with the service you provided.  Don’t waste your time trying to convince them otherwise, and encourage other clients to write a positive review to balance this one out.
  •  Never respond when you’re still angry: Whether you had a bad day, or the client was difficult to please, remember that you can’t satisfy everyone.  Personal attacks and a defensive attitude will not win you future business.
  •  Keep it simple: When you choose it’s appropriate to respond, keep your comments to about 5 concise sentences and move on.

Be proactive and encourage all of your clients to write reviews of your business on WeddingWire.  Customers use this information to evaluate your business and make informed decisions – be responsive, approachable and professional! When you are logged into your account you will see a link below all of your reviews if you like to “Respond.”

» Bride’s Choice Awards 2012: Hear from the Winners!

On January 9, we eagerly announced the 2012 winners of WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards™. The prestigious annual awards program recognizes the best local wedding vendors from the WeddingWire Network who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism within the wedding industry. It was with great pleasure that we congratulated the winners for their continued professionalism and commitment to enriching the wedding planning experience for engaged couples.

Now, we’re thrilled to share the benefits and successes directly from some of our award-winning wedding professionals!

___________________________________
 

“WeddingWire has been an invaluable tool in helping to grow my business. Engaged couples need to feel confident in their choice of vendors and the reviews on WeddingWire provide just that. The Bride’s Choice Award is a recognition that a vendor has performed well on a consistent basis throughout the year and that recognition benefits both the vendor and the couple. The couples I meet tell me how impressed they are with my work and reviews. What could be better than that?”Deborah Lauren, City Sweets & Confections, New York, NY
___________________________________


“We’re very honored and excited to have received WeddingWire’s Bride’s Choice Award for the 3
rd year in a row! We’ve found that engaged couples want to read reviews from past clients, especially because, a lot of a wedding planner’s offerings are intangible  – peace of mind, attention to detail, organization and stress reduction! By providing prospective clients with access to read what our previous clients have said about their experience working with us is HUGE!”Mark Kingsdorf, The Queen of Hearts Wedding Consultants, Philadelphia, PA
___________________________________

“WeddingWire’s Bride’s Choice Awards have done nothing but great things for my studio. For those couples that find us online for the first time, they read through the reviews and have a chance to really get to know us! We love WeddingWire!”

Steven Saldana, Studio Saldana, New York, NY

___________________________________

“Having reviews in one place on my WeddingWire storefront has been a great part of successfully booking engaged couples. People want to read reviews and feel more assured with their choice in a vendor. I’m grateful to my past clients for leaving reviews, providing future clients with the confidence to choose my business.”Jennifer Longaway, Jennifer Longaway Photography, San Francisco, CA
___________________________________


While many industry awards are selected by the organization, the WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards™ are awarded solely based on the reviews from over 1.2 million newlyweds. The awards are determined by a combination of four factors: overall rating, total number of reviews, review performance from 2011, and consistency of reviews from year to year.  This year’s recipients represent the top 5% of the WeddingWire local vendor community, comprised of over 200,000 wedding professionals throughout the United States and Canada. Professionals from across 20 service categories, from wedding venues to wedding photographers, are recognized based on their overall achievements throughout the previous year.

For more information on the WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards™, please visit www.WeddingWire.com.

» Want the Celebrations.com Cupcake Crown?

The Celebrations Cupcake Crown is an annual awards competition to find the most creative cupcake in the country. The winner will receive a $2,500 travel voucher from Wyndham Vacation Rentals valid at locations across the globe! The submission period for the Celebrations Cupcake Crown has begun and they’d love for you to enter a photo of your most creative cupcake or nominate one of your peers to participate. See below:

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Go to www.celebrations.com/cupcakecrown and upload a photo of your most creative cupcake.
  2. Name your cupcake and in a sentence or two, tell us why it’s so special.
  3. Click publish to submit your cupcake and you will be entered for the chance to win some awesome prizes!
  4. Spread the word to your friends and family! Voting will be open to the public starting January 30th through February 13th.
Here’s what you win:
  • Grand Prize: $2,500 travel voucher from Wyndham Vacation Rentals
  • 1st Place Prize: KitchenAid Classic Stand Mixer
  • 2nd Place Prize: $100 bakeware prize pack from PfaltzGraff

It’s that easy! To say thank you, they’ve partnered up with PfaltzGraff so that every submission will receive a 15% off code to www.PfaltzGraff.com. Just be sure to enter your cupcake before January 30th! For the full rules and regulations for the Cupcake Crown, see the official rules and be sure to follow along via Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #CupcakeCrown!

» Do You Pinterest? Optimize Your Pins

Pinterest has been spreading the nation like wildfire, allowing users to ‘pin’ photos and inspiration of their favorite recipes, clothing, hair, designs, and more! Many brides (and hopeful-brides) have been using Pinterest as a new way to organize inspiration for their weddings!

Take advantage of this new social vertical to spread photos and links from your website and blog. It is important to keep a few SEO (Search Engine Optimization) considerations in mind. Here are three areas to make sure you are optimizing your photos on Pinterest for SEO:

Description – When you set up your profile, consider including some of your relavent keywords and details in your Pinterest description, make sure to include your category (i.e. Photographer, Florist, DJ) and the word “weddings” if this is your primary business! This way, when potential clients are searching (on Google or Pinterest) you can increase your chances of showing up as a result.

Boards – Choose the title of your ‘Pin Boards’ carefully! This is another area to include keywords, consider doing so both in the title and description of the boards where you organize your types of photos.

Images – Ensure you are using the proper direct links to the photo from your website or blog so that you get the added benefits when your photos go viral and those who share your images are properly directed back to your site.
Continue reading

» See WeddingWire at The EPIC Summit!

Join us in March at The EPIC Summit in Lodi, NJ!  On March 30, 2012, wedding and events professionals, from near and far, will come together at The EPIC Summit: Luxury Wedding and Events Industry Business Conference for a day stocked full of education, inspiration and ideas. The conference features cutting-edge marketing, branding and communications strategies, plus culinary, catering and design innovation from industry experts.

All attendees will have the opportunity to learn from industry leadersmeet with wedding and events experts and network with other Pros.

We invite you to:

  • Listen to Sonny Ganguly, WeddingWire’s CMO, present The Tech Report: The Future of SO-LO-MO
  • Meet and mingle with industry leaders
  • Gather tips and tools for success in marketing, branding, communications and more

Space is limited | WeddingWire Pros receive a special ticket price by using the code FACULTY20 

Click here to register or get more information. We hope to see you in March!

» Latest News For LGBT-Friendly Wedding Pros

This post was written by WeddingWire Education Expert Kathryn Hamm, Publisher of GayWeddings.com, the leading online resource dedicated to serving same-sex couples since 1999. Kathryn is also co-author of the groundbreaking book, The New Art of Capturing Love: The Essential Guide to Lesbian and Gay Wedding Photography. Follow her on Twitter @madebykathryn.

Something occurred to me recently. Times have really changed. We no longer live in a world where Ricky Martin is having to swear he isn’t gay. Instead, he’s having to swear that he isn’t gay married!

I never thought I’d see the day.

But, here we are with 6 states (Massachusetts, Iowa, New York, New Hampshire, Vermont and Connecticut) and the District of Columbia proudly offering marriage licenses to all couples — gay and straight alike — while another 2 states (Maryland and Washington) have opened the 2012 season jockeying to see which can claim to be the eighth jurisdiction to legalize gay marriage.

Further, there are several other states — including Illinois, Hawaii, Delaware, Rhode Island, and New Jersey — offering civil unions and other broad partnership recognition rights to same sex couples. You can learn more about the map of marriage equality here.

This means that Wedding Pros in these areas should be making some conscious decisions about their marketing materials and the audience to whom they wish to speak if they haven’t already done so. More than ever, gay and lesbian couples are out there and the audience is listening.

Continue reading

» WeddingWire Happy Hour Richmond

This past Monday, we thoroughly enjoyed WeddingWire Happy Hour in Richmond! Members of the WeddingWire team gathered at Morton’s The Steakhouse with local Wedding Pros. Similarly to our past WeddingWire Networking Night events in Chicago, New York, Seattle, Dallas and more, Richmond area Wedding Pros had the opportunity to mix and mingle with other local Pros across all service categories, watch a brief educational video and listen to brief remarks by Kate Hoffman, Public Relations Manager, WeddingWire.

A special thanks to AnnMarie Grohs at Morton’s The Steakhouse and Erik with E. leise photo design for capturing the highlights of the event!

Congratulations to our drawing winner, Steve Morris from Crown Limousine Service, Inc. He received a WeddingWire prize pack and HD flip video camera.


Continue reading

» WeddingWire Announces Bride’s Choice Awards 2012

We are excited to notify the 2012 winners of this year’s WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards™. The prestigious annual awards program recognizes the best local wedding vendors from the WeddingWire Network who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism within the wedding industry.

While many industry awards are selected by the organization, the WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards™ are awarded solely based on the reviews from over 1.2 million newlyweds. The awards are determined by a combination of four factors: overall rating, total number of reviews, review performance from 2011, and consistency of reviews from year to year.  This year’s recipients represent the top 5% of the WeddingWire local vendor community, comprised of over 200,000 wedding professionals throughout the United States and Canada. Professionals from across 20 service categories, from wedding venues to wedding photographers, are recognized based on their overall achievements throughout the previous year.

“WeddingWire is thrilled to honor the success of our top-rated wedding professionals within the WeddingWire Community,” said Timothy Chi, CEO, WeddingWire. “Since the launch of The Bride’s Choice Awards™ program four years ago, thousands of outstanding wedding professionals have been recognized by the bridal community for their supreme service and dedication to the wedding industry.  It is with great pleasure that we congratulate the 2012 winners for their continued professionalism and commitment to enriching the wedding planning experience for engaged couples.”

The Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2012 winners were notified via email on January 9, 2012. Recipients will be given the official WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2012 badge, along with access to a suite of marketing tools to showcase the award next week. A complete list of the winners will be available on the WeddingWire homepage in mid-January.

For more information on the WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards™, please visit www.WeddingWire.com.

» The #1 Rule of Twitter

Twitter is a rapidly growing social media site that allows you to connect in real-time with people on the web, anyone from your past clients to Beyonce. The point of Twitter is to network, connect, and share with others in a way that wasn’t possible before. While it could eventually help bring in business long term, that is not the main goal.

Build relationships now, sell later.

Think of Twitter as the start to a conversation. You are saying hello, not beating potential clients over the head with your latest discount or special. It is important to let your contacts know what is going on with your business and keep them informed, but keep it to a minimum. It is always a good rule of thumb to act as you would in a real life conversation. While Twitter can later on lead to referrals and potential business, the only way you can accomplish that is by first fostering a relationship with your followers.

For some perspective, imagine you see a brand on Twitter you have heard about before but don’t know much about. They tweet about relevant information to your industry or even about your favorite football team’s win last night. You have the ability to connect on a new level. These types of relationships can help you build a positive frame of reference with others, so when they know someone who needs a photographer or florist or DJ, they might say, “Oh, I know someone you should check out!”

There is a growing potential for your business to create real relationships on Twitter and build your referrals later on down the road. For more ways to maximize Twitter, read this article.