» Online Payments: PayPal vs. Authorize.net

Online Payments: PayPal vs. Authorize.netAs a wedding and event professional, creating efficient payment schedules and distributing invoices is vital to organizing your business and ensuring you are promptly paid for your services. Did you know our Clients Tab has the tools to allow you to make these invoices and collect online payments?

WeddingWire Payments & Invoices are designed to help you get paid faster and ensure that you never miss a payment from your clients! You can immediately prepare customizable invoices, collect ePayments received through each Client Site and review all recent and upcoming payments – all in one place!

Our Clients Tab allows you to set up your Payments & Invoices the way you’d like to receive payments. With different payment methods available, here are some key factors for both PayPal and Authorize.net:

PayPal: Third Party Processor Account

  • It’s easy to use for both clients and vendors. With a quick set-up, you can have PayPal link to either your credit or debit card or directly to your bank account.
  • PayPal is trustworthy and secure. Many major retailers, including eBay, use PayPal to transfer funds between users.
  • PayPal does not charge a monthly fee. While there’s no set up fee, there is a $0.30 transaction fee.

Continue reading

» WeddingWire Education Experts Give Thanks

As 2013 draws to a close with Thanksgiving already upon us, we’ve been thinking a lot about what we’re thankful for as a company.

WeddingWire is first and foremost thankful for all the wonderful wedding and event professionals who choose to use WeddingWire to help manage and promote their businesses! We love helping our Pros learn more about effective strategies and tools to grow, and we’re always on the lookout for new resources to help you be even more efficient! Thank you all for the amazing feedback and support over the past year.

We’re also thankful for our wonderful Education Experts who contribute their expertise and help bring an added point of view and expertise to our educational offering. So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, we’re all getting together to reflect on this year and talk about what we’re all thankful for.

Here’s what our Education Experts are thankful for this year!

WeddingWire Education Guru Alan Berg“I’m thankful for the passion and generosity of the wedding and event professionals I am privileged to meet and work with this, and every year. You share your frustrations and triumphs with me. Without you attending my presentations, reading my articles and listening to my webinars, I’d be talking to myself… a lot. So, thanks for listening. Thanks for sharing. Thanks for caring. Your success is my success. Let’s keep reaching higher, together.”

Alan Berg, North America’s Leading Expert on the Business of Weddings & Events

WeddingWire Education Expert Christine Dyer“I’m most thankful for the 18,000 brides and wedding professionals who have joined the free wedding community at BridalTweet.com. Thank you for your inspiration, enthusiasm and support over the last four and a half years. Together, we’re taking a REAL leadership role in shaping how the wedding industry can continue to connect and prosper. It is my hope that you have been inspired by the connections that you have made at BridalTweet.  You can join now for free to use BridalTweet’s free services to grow your wedding business!”

– Christine Dyer, Founder, BridalTweet.com

WeddingWire Education Expert Meghan Ely“We here at OFD Consulting are particularly grateful for the outpouring of support and virtual high-fives with the arrival of the first OFD baby this past spring. From our staff forging ahead independently to our clients and colleagues who insisted on “meet baby OFD” Skype sessions, the response has been phenomenal and it made the transition back this summer that much more seamless. Additionally, we’re thankful that Mason jar trend is fading. :)”

– Meghan Ely, Owner, OFD Consulting

Photo by Carly Fuller

“This holiday season, I continue to remain grateful to our many LGBTQ allies who have provided voices of strength, clarity and compassion in our long journey toward marriage equality. We at GayWeddings.com are as grateful for the early allies who believed in us and our mission when we began our journey in 1999 as we are for those of you who have joined our family of allies in the years since – and will in the years to come. We are especially grateful to our friends at WeddingWire for believing in our company mission, our relationships, and marriage equality. And, of course, we would not be where we are today without the 60,000+ wedding professionals in our vendor directory who let engaged couples know every day that they are there for all loving couples, regardless of sexual orientation.”

– Kathryn Hamm, President, GayWeddings.com

WeddingWire Education Expert Jennifer Reitmeyer“After an incredibly challenging year in my personal life, I’m so very thankful for the continued support and friendship from my fellow Wedding Pros. Of course we’re business owners, but we’re also human beings who must find balance between work and family, something that can be difficult even when we aren’t in crisis. The strong relationships I’ve built among other Wedding Pros remind me just how fortunate we are all to be a part of such a warm, empathetic and caring industry.”

– Jennifer Reitmeyer, Owner, MyDeejay

Thanks again to all our incredible Education Experts for contributing to the wealth of knowledge we strive to provide for all our Pros! On behalf of the WeddingWire team, we hope you all enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday.

What are you thankful for this holiday season? We would love to hear from you in your comments below! You can also email support@weddingwire.com at anytime with suggestions for us or questions about our programs.

» Inside WeddingWire: Thanksgiving Potluck 2013

At WeddingWire we have a lot of traditions, but one of our favorites is our annual company Thanksgiving potluck! With our WeddingWire family quickly surpassing 300 employees, this year’s potluck was our largest yet! While our Exec team provided the turkey, ham and vegetarian main dishes, the entire WeddingWire staff brought in a special dish to share. It was truly a Thanksgiving feast!

This year, we have a lot to be thankful for. In addition to the new employees we’ve welcomed to the family, WeddingWire has had a great sixth year as a company. We also look forward to opportunities to give back during the holiday season, and throughout the year, through a variety of charity initiatives organized by our caring and hard-working charity committee, The Giving Tree.

Don’t miss some of the photo highlights from our Thanksgiving celebrations below!

Happy Thanksgiving from the WeddingWire team!

Continue reading

» 4 C’s of an Engaging Website

Webinar Recap!4 Cs of an Engaging Website

You have likely heard the four C’s of diamonds, but have you heard the four C’s of an engaging website? Yesterday, WeddingWire Education Guru Alan Berg hosted our monthly educational webinar for premium members. This month, we focused on the four C’s of an engaging website, and how to improve your business website to convert more of your web traffic into leads and clients.

What are the website four C’s to keep in mind?

  • Color: Light backgrounds with clear and moderately sized fonts that pop are key to a simple, yet visually appealing, website! Your site colors should work with your logo and overall branding, without being too busy. Also be sure to include several great examples of your real work photos that give visitors an inside look into your business, without being overly distracting.
  • Content with context: Don’t say what you do without saying why it matters to your website visitors. What problem will you solve? Why are your services the best for their needs? Share your work and relate it to your target audience so they will want to reach out to learn more about your business and get excited about your work!
  • Confirmation: Add great testimonials to your site. Prospects trust online reviews and testimonials from your real past clients, so don’t be afraid to brag a bit! Publish short, client-approved testimonials where relevant on your pages, and add your WeddingWire Reviews Widget to your site to show off your great reviews!
  • Call to action: It is important to add several clear calls to action on your site. What do you want your visitors to do? Visit your blog? Fill out a contact from? Give you a call? Share what makes your business special and make it easy for them to reach out to learn more about your services! Add links to your ‘contact’ page on every page of your site so they can’t miss it.

This month, the winner of our ‘best tweet’ contest to @WeddingWireEDU won a 90 minute website one-on-one consultation with Alan. Congrats to Amber of Blue Sky Ceremony!

Want to watch this webinar? All of our past webinars are available in our Education Center for premium Pros! And stay tuned for information about next month’s webinar, What’s Next in Tech!

» WeddingWire CEO Judges UMD Pitch Dingman Competition

Last week, WeddingWire CEO Timothy Chi participated in the twice annual Pitch Dingman Competition at University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business. Not only was Tim a lead judge for the competition, but he was also the keynote speaker!

The Pitch Dingman Competition is a twice annual competition in which student entrepreneurs have the opportunity to pitch their start-up idea to notable alumni and regional industry leaders. The competition is named for the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship on UMD’s College Park campus.

The five finalists who are given the opportunity to pitch the judges are chosen from an initial group of ten who participate in a semi-final round. The top five are then coached by Dingman Center staff and Entrepreneurs-in-Residence to prepare them for the final competition.

Tim and the other judges selected the first and second place winners, while the live audience for the competition used text-to-vote to select the winner of the Audience Choice Award. Winners received varying levels of cash prizes to put towards their startup ideas.

The first place prize of $2,000 went to SellMyOldTech.com, a startup that provides the fastest and easiest way to sell old or broken smartphones.

Check out some of the photos from the competition below!

WeddingWire CEO Judges UMD Pitch Dingman Competition

WeddingWire CEO Judges UMD Pitch Dingman Competition

WeddingWire CEO Judges UMD Pitch Dingman Competition

WeddingWire CEO Judges UMD Pitch Dingman Competition

Continue reading

» What’s Next in Social Media: November 2013

What's Next in Social Media

What’s Next in Social Media: November 2013Social media is constantly changing. Each network has its own strategy and features, and it can be hard to keep up with the latest news. Never fear! We’ve got your monthly update, all in one place, so you can be prepared for what’s next!

Here’s what’s next in social media for November 2013!

Facebook Updates Chat

Facebook has been testing a new feature in its messaging that allows users to see which friends are using a mobile device to access Facebook or if they are using it via desktop. Before this feature, Facebook users who were not using desktop could use Facebook messenger but were shown to be offline, or they were shown to be completely offline even when accessing through the app.

Users chatting via Facebook can currently see that the other user is on a mobile device from within the message, whereas the new feature will allow users to know which device their recipient is using beforehand, allowing them to make more informed decisions in their messages such as sending shorter chats or choosing to wait until the recipient is on a desktop.

Continue reading on TechCrunch >

Custom Twitter Timelines

If you’re sick of searching through a constant stream of tweets to find something relevant, Twitter’s custom timelines are for you! Users can use Twitter’s Tweetdeck to create your own timelines around particular events or topics.

Twitter had dipped into this territory previously with Twitter Lists, but the new timelines differ in that they are completely embeddable. For those who would like to embed a Twitter stream based on a specific topic in real-time, this new function makes it possible.

Learn more on Mashable >

Pinterest’s New Place Pins

Last week, Pinterest introduced its newest feature, Place Pins. Place Pins allow users to geo-tag photos they pin, which means that they can be added to a map. Addresses and phone numbers are also optional so that users can easily get directions to the places they’re pinning.

Pinterest Place Pins use Foursquare locations to link up the address/phone number with the name of the location. With the introduction of this new feature, users are also invited to create boards with other users to plan trips or activities. Additionally, this new feature should save avid Pinterest users time when searching for answers about where an image came from.

Read more from Pinterest >

Continue reading

» Inside WeddingWire: The Giving Tree

Inside WeddingWire: The Giving TreeWeddingWire is an innovative, fast-growing, and high-achieving technology company, but we’re also a company that loves to give back to our community. Our charity committee, The Giving Tree, has already collectively done so much this year, including:

  • Bone Marrow Drive: 77 people signed up to donate bone marrow to patients suffering with diseases that affect their bone marrow.
  • Fill a Child’s Backpack: 42 people signed up to bring in school supplies to fill children’s backpacks. We filled over 33 backpacks and provided 2 boxes of extra supplies!
  • Red Cross Blood Drive: 15 people signed up and gave blood. Each person’s donation was enough to save 3 people’s lives – that’s 45 lives saved!
  • Writing Letters to Our Troops: Our team wrote 27 letters and sent them to our troops overseas.
  • Navy Yard Bake Sale: To help the families affected by the tragic Navy Yard shootings, we held a bake sale that raised $446.

…And we’re not done yet! WeddingWire is excited to announce several more charity initiatives this holiday season:

Canned Food Drive

Our annual fall canned food drive is back for 2013! For four weeks, we’re collecting canned food donations from employees, with a donation counter posted in our café. We’re making participation a priority and aiding our company in achieving these charity goals. We’ve set a corporate goal of 1,500 cans of food – that’s an average of 7.5 cans of food per employee!

Continue reading

» Wedding PR: The Art of Exclusivity

WeddingWire Education Expert

Meghan Ely
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding marketing and wedding PR firm OFD Consulting. She is the exclusive Wedding PR Education Expert for WeddingWire and is a highly sought after speaker in the wedding industry. To learn how OFD Consulting can assist you with your wedding marketing and wedding PR, please contact us today.

In the world of Wedding PR and real wedding submissions, exclusivity reigns supreme in the eyes of the editors. Wedding blogs and magazines aim to give their readers fresh content in an ongoing effort to deliver the latest inspiration, so it will be frowned upon if you enthusiastically begin submitting your favorite wedding of the season to every media outlet you come across.

Wedding PR: The Art of Exclusivity | WeddingWireEDUBefore you begin hand selecting editorial worthy detail shots, be sure you take the time to do your due diligence and become familiar with a publication or blog’s rules. Most media outlets will have a submission page that clearly outlines their preferences. If there is any question as to an exclusivity policy, then it’s best to submit the wedding to one spot at a time until you find it a home. This may mean longer waiting periods but far better to face this scenario than to build a reputation as someone who is known for only submitting “been there, done that” content.

A question that often comes up with wedding professionals (especially photographers) is that if sharing the same images is acceptable through marketing efforts, as well as with the wedding day team. The media as a whole tends to recognize that a wedding professional’s blog and website are some of their most effective marketing tools, so unless a particular wedding blog or magazine specifically states not to post it; it is acceptable to go ahead and give that wedding the online love it deserves.

Continue reading

» WeddingWire Networking Night Panhandle

Monday evening, local Florida Wedding Pros gathered at the Watercolor Inn & Resort for WeddingWire Networking Night Panhandle!

At the Networking Night, Pros from the area had the opportunity to network with other local Pros across all service categories, meet members of the WeddingWire team and listen to a brief educational presentation by WeddingWire’s Senior Brand Manager, Kate Hoffman. Other WeddingWire networking events have been held throughout the country this year.

Thank you to all the wonderful Pros who joined us and helped make the evening a success!  We’re excited to share highlights from the event including Kate’s educational presentation, the WeddingWire Education Guide, and great photos from the evening (as seen below).

We would like to say a special thank you to the fantastic event partners who helped make the evening possible:

Finally, congrats to Shari Oliver of LoughTide Beach Weddings and Events, the winner of a WeddingWire prize pack!

WeddingWire Networking Night Panhandle

WeddingWire Networking Night Panhandle

WeddingWire Networking Night Panhandle

WeddingWire Networking Night Panhandle

Continue reading

» What the Tech?! Social, Mobile & Tech Trends

As technology constantly evolves, it can be difficult to stay on top of the latest tech trends that could impact your business. It’s important to not be afraid of what’s to come as technology continues to grow at a rapid pace and change how business is conducted. When it comes to technology, never say never!

From the latest social media sites, to the future of mobile and the next big movements in technology, this infographic will help you see what’s next.

What the Tech?! Social, Mobile & Tech Trends | WeddingWireEDU Blog

» Are You Using Social Media Correctly?

Setting up your business’s social media accounts is important, but going into social media with the right mindset is also very important. Like other areas of your business, social media requires skills and experience as well as strategic thinking! Social media can be a powerful part of your business, if done correctly.

Use these questions as a checklist to see if you’re effectively using social media!

Are You Using Social Media Correctly? | WeddingWireEDU BlogDo you have a plan? Your business should have not a “tweet-by-tweet” strategy! All your social media posts and decisions should be based around a social media strategy. Your strategy should be developed based on what your audience needs from each social property, so that you can constantly be sure you’re providing them with valuable and relevant information.

Are you working with others? The key to a great social media strategy is coordinating your efforts with other departments (if you have them) so that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goal. Another idea is to work to share content and expertise with your network. Reach out to Pros You Know to see if you want to work together to share relevant content and get added exposure to each other’s audiences. Networking is very valuable and establishing mutually beneficial relationships in the industry pays off. Not only does working with a variety of people spurn more creativity, but it also helps your social media efforts to be more effective and less boring!

Have you identified thought leaders? Identifying the key influencers and top educational resources in your given industry and posting their content makes you a resource, and enhances both your networks. Follow their good examples when planning your strategy and build relationships with them by mentioning their accounts when you post!

Continue reading

» WeddingWire’s Sonny Ganguly Wins CMO “Rising Star” Award

WeddingWire's Sonny Ganguly Wins CMO Award!We’re excited to announce that our Chief Marketing Officer, Sonny Ganguly, has been named a “Rising Star” in the 2013 CMO Awards!

The CMO Awards were created by The CMO Club, an organization created to bring CMOs together and enable them to share insights and experiences so they can become better at what they do. The CMO Awards is the first program driven and decided by a group of marketing peers to celebrate the marketing industry’s brightest leaders.

There are six categories in which nominees can be recognized, including CMO Leadership, CMO Marketing Innovation, CMO Officers, CMO Rising Star, CMO Programmatic Marketing and CMO Club President’s Circle. Three to four winners are selected from each category by an Awards Panel made up of various CMO Club members.

WeddingWire is thrilled that Sonny has achieved this award in recognition of all his hard work as CMO and co-founder. Under Sonny’s leadership, WeddingWire will continue to focus on helping wedding professionals leverage technology to market their business and reach even more engaged couples!

Sonny participates in our monthly educational webinars, so make sure you register to hear the latest on a variety of marketing and technology topics! You can also follow him on Twitter, @sonnyg, for more marketing insight.

Congratulations, Sonny!