» Internet Explorer Security Alert

The following alert concerns any of our Pros using Internet Explorer as their browser of choice.

Microsoft has admitted to a major vulnerability in the Internet Explorer browser over the weekend. This vulnerability allows users who visit a page with using IE (versions 9 through 11) to be open to hackers who aim to set up malicious sites in order to gain complete access to visitors’ PC.

We know that a lot of our Pros access their WeddingWire accounts using IE, so we highly encourage you to take the following actions in order to protect yourself from this vulnerability:

  1. Refrain from using any version of Internet Explorer until the vulnerability is repaired.
  2. Use Firefox or Chrome for your office needs (and personal use at home as well) and ensure that the browser is running the most recent version as well.

There is always some risk in using the Internet and no browser is completely safe, but taking the steps above will help your business protect itself from hackers who are looking to access your personal information. You can use the links below to download the alternative browser of your choice:

Download Firefox >

Download Chrome >

For more information on the security notes regarding this vulnerability, please see the list of additional resources below.

» What’s Next in Social Media: April 2014

What's Next in Social Media

Social 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 in social media!

Here’s what you need to know about what’s next in social media from April 2014:

What’s Next in Social Media: April 2014Facebook’s Business Manager Tool

Facebook has officially launched Business Manager, a tool that allows Facebook business page users to manage multiple campaigns and collaborate with multiple employees! The best part of this new feature is that people who use their personal Facebook accounts to log in to their business pages will now have better separation between the two. Additionally, multiple administrators can be added without being “friends” with each other (thereby giving access to personal page information). Facebook will now function much more like a professional marketing platform for businesses rather than a social network.

Read more on Mashable >

New Twitter Profiles

If you’ve logged into your actual Twitter account lately, you’ve probably noticed Twitter user profiles have a new look. Much like Facebook’s timelines and cover photos, the new profile layout features a wider cover photo and streamlined feed. Most importantly, Twitter will now “call out” your best performing tweets by making them appear larger on your profile.  Now visitors to your profile will see your most engaging tweets, and you can even pin a specific tweet to the top of your profile.

Find out more on The Verge >

Continue reading

» The WeddingWire Mobile Revolution [Infographic]

Since the beginning, WeddingWire has been a mobile-thinking company with the goal of infusing technology into the wedding industry. We’re committed to keeping up with emerging mobile trends that help connect our Wedding Pros with local engaged couples. As part of that commitment, we’ve created new tools like the Mobile Website Creator, optimized our website and released a family of mobile apps to make it even easier for your business to be exposed to more couples so you can book more weddings.

To get a full picture of where we’ve been and where we’re going, check out our infographic on the WeddingWire mobile revolution!

The WeddingWire Mobile Revolution

» Pro Forum Buzz: WeddingWire World, Friendly Discounts, and More

The WeddingWire Pro Forums are a great place to meet and connect with other Wedding Pros across the country to grow your network. Every day, Pros are talking about a variety of topics, from client concerns to professional advice and best practices.

Here’s what Pros are talking about this month in the Pro Forums!

Pro Forum Buzz: WeddingWire World, Friendly Discounts, and MoreShould you attend WeddingWire World?

You may have heard that WeddingWire World, our day-long user’s conference, is touring five U.S. cities in 2014. Have you attended our World event in the past? Share your experience, or see what others are saying about it!

Share your thoughts >>

Discounts for friends

Do you offer a discount when working events for friends? If so, for how much? If not, do you provide extras that normal clients wouldn’t receive? Members weigh in on the pros and cons of each approach.

Offer your opinion >>

Continue reading

» Announcing WeddingWire Analytics!

WeddingWire is thrilled to announce the beta version of Analytics for our Premium members!

We’ve had many Wedding Pros request more data about how their Storefronts are performing and how their listing is impacting their businesses. The beta version of Analytics allows your business to track:

  • Storefront Clicks: Cumulative monthly clicks to your business’s Profile and Reviews tab
  • Website Clicks: Cumulative monthly clicks from your Storefront to your business website
  • Comparative Data: Median number of cumulative monthly clicks to your competitors’ Storefronts and business websites, separated by listing type

We’re excited to share this valuable new tool with our Pros so you can see how the combination of important traffic insights and premier placement can help you book more weddings this year. Analytics beta is now available in your premium WeddingWire Account, within the Advertising tab.

You can read more about WeddingWire Analytics, including a breakdown of the metrics and more information about how they’re compiled, in the Education Center of your account. We’ve also updated our Knowledge Base with tips for understanding your new insights!

Have feedback for future Analytics enhancements? We’d love to hear your thoughts for additions and improvements! Please provide us with your feedback here about this new tool and how you’d like to see it grow in the future.

WeddingWire Analytics, along with guaranteed directory placement, is only available to Premium WeddingWire members. Learn more about upgrading at vendors.weddingwire.com or get started by contacting us at sales@weddingwire.com.

» SEO Tips for Speaking to Same-Sex Couples

Having strong SEO for your business is critical to building a powerful online reputation, and considering your keywords thoughtfully is important when marketing to same-sex couples. What you might not realize is that, at times, the best practices when referring to LGBTQ clients can also be out-of-sync with optimal SEO keywords. What’s a pro to do? Start here!

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.

When we first founded our company in 1999 as TwoBrides.com and TwoGrooms.com — ‘mother-approved shopping sites for same-sex couples,’ we loved the domains because our URLs were catchy and descriptive. In 2005, however, we had the opportunity to acquire the domain www.gayweddings.com and expand our offerings.

Though our “new” company name, GayWeddings.com, is a bit less “catchy” than our first brand names, the advantage of our owning this keyword-rich domain is obvious. It’s the fastest shorthand to describe what we do, and the name speaks for itself in conversation and SEO optimization.

Or does it?

The answer to that is ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ And, in my ambiguous answer lives a story of how a market, a marginalized community, and our larger society has changed in fifteen years’ time.

As Far As Acronyms Go

Over twenty years ago, our community largely referred to itself as ‘the gay community.’ But, within the community, there was a push to be more inclusive. Thus we began to refer to ourselves as the ‘lesbian and gay’ community and ‘lesbian, gay and bisexual’ (LGB or GLB) community.

And, over the years, our transgender brothers and sisters lobbied and pushed (rightfully so) to expand the community’s definition to LGBT. And, finally, of late, others, including myself, have begun to add the Q for ‘Queer’ into our mainstream use as a means by which to be most inclusive. (While we’re at it, in case you are wondering, there have also been other acronyms including ‘I’ for Intersex, ‘Q’ for Questioning, ‘A’ for Allies in the mix.)

The bottom line for our purposes as wedding professionals, however, is that we are talking about same-sex couples. Two persons of the same gender who wish to marry and who, for the most part, identify with being part of the broader LGBTQ community. Continue reading

» New Dresses and Accessories from New York Bridal Market!

This article was written by Sarah Zlotnick, the Fashion and Beauty Editor at WeddingWire. Her work has also appeared in The WashingtonianWashingtonian Bride & Groom, and Refinery29

This season’s New York Bridal Fashion Week was a busy time for the WeddingWire Editorial team. We covered a lot of ground, hitting over 60 shows, appointments and presentations in less than a week, and sharing the latest gowns via our brand-new WedStyle app, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and more. All of the brand-new dresses are also available for your browsing on our Bridal Fashion Week page.

Now, on to some of the top trends we spotted this season that your brides will be asking for:

New Dresses and Accessories from New York Bridal Market!

Runway photos by Dan Lecca. Dresses by (from left): Reem Acra; Watters; and Christos

Layered Over Nude: We saw designers using nude-colored fabric on many gowns to create the illusion of a barely-there look. Lace overlays provide a pretty, feminine look, while beading gives the style more of a jaw-dropping glam factor.

Continue reading

» WeddingWire Networking Night St. Louis

Last night, Wedding Pros gathered at Moulin for WeddingWire Networking Night St. Louis!

At the Networking Night, Pros from the St. Louis 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. Other networking events have been held throughout the country, with more exciting events and locations to come this year!

Thank you to all the wonderful Pros who joined us! We’re excited to share highlights from the event including the educational presentation, the WeddingWire Education Guide, and great photos from the evening (as seen below). If you want to continue the conversation with some of the Pros you met at the event, check out the WeddingWire Networking Night St. Louis board in the Pro Forums!

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

Finally, congrats to Carolyn Burke of Carolyn Burke – Wedding Coordinator/Officiant, the winner of a WeddingWire prize pack!

WeddingWire Networking Night St. Louis

WeddingWire Networking Night St. Louis

WeddingWire Networking Night St. Louis

WeddingWire Networking Night St. Louis

Continue reading

» Tips for Working with Wedding Planners and Getting on Their Preferred Vendors List

Laurie-HartwellThis article was written by Laurie Hartwell. Laurie is the owner of A Wedding To Remember. With offices in Orlando, New York City, Kansas City, Chicago, and Atlanta her firm strives to offer top notch, affordable wedding planning and coordination services. She is also the Founder and CEO of The Bridal Society, an organization that offers Wedding Planning Certification Courses in cities across the US. As the main instructor for the course, Laurie tries to share her 20 years of experience with her students to instill the importance of professionalism, character, morals and fairness in the wedding industry. www.TheBridalSociety.com. Check out their upcoming events here.

In addition to constant advertising and excellent reviews, your business can benefit greatly from having a healthy relationship with one or more wedding planners in your community and networking with other local professionals. Once you establish a relationship with a wedding planner and you have proven to him/her that you offer a great product at a reasonable price then they have the ability to send you business on a regular basis. Wedding planners are your repeat customer, so being on their preferred vendor list should be a top priority. Wedding planners often sell their clients on your services through recommendations well before your initial meeting so by the time they meet with you they are practically ready to sign.

Here are some key things wedding planners and wedding professionals you would like to network with (and their clients!) are looking for in a wedding vendor partnership:

Be on time. Make an effort to arrive at least 15 Bride With Wedding Planner In Marqueeminutes early for all meetings. There is nothing that turns a client (and her wedding planner) off more than you being late. Being on time tells the wedding planner and client that you value their time just as much as your own. Always be on time, but if traffic or another issue forces you to be late make sure you communicate with the wedding planner so they can make needed adjustments to the schedule. Many times a wedding planner will schedule meetings with several vendors throughout the day so make sure you communicate, so they can reschedule other appointments accordingly.

Have the right attitude. There is nothing more frustrating to a wedding planner than sitting down with a vendor and immediately having to endure all the gory details about everything that went wrong with your morning. Save those conversations for your friends or family members at another time. When you are meeting for business keep it professional. Having a professional demeanor will give you an edge on the competition!

Focus on a team approach.  Are you easy to work with on the wedding day? Are you sensitive to the needs of the other wedding vendors? Always be willing to cooperate and be flexible when unexpected circumstances come up. If you give the impression that you are not a team player it is unlikely you will make it on anyone’s preferred vendor list. Continue reading

» WeddingWire Networking Night Kansas City

Monday night, Wedding Pros gathered at Hotel Phillips for WeddingWire Networking Night Kansas City!

At the Networking Night, Pros from the Kansas City 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. Other networking events have been held throughout the country, with more exciting events and locations to come this year!

Thank you to all the wonderful Pros who joined us! We’re excited to share highlights from the event including Alan’s educational presentation, the WeddingWire Education Guide, and great photos from the evening (as seen below). If you want to continue the conversation with some of the Pros you met at the event, check out the WeddingWire Networking Night Kansas City board in the Pro Forums!

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

Finally, congrats to Deanna Johnson of A Day to Adore Photography, the winner of a WeddingWire prize pack!

WeddingWire Networking Night Kansas City

WeddingWire Networking Night Kansas City

WeddingWire Networking Night Kansas City

WeddingWire Networking Night Kansas City Continue reading

» Are You Investing in Yourself?

This article was written by WeddingWire Education Guru, Alan Berg. Alan has over 20 years experience in wedding related sales and marketing, and is a member of the National Speakers Association, an author, and founder of The Wedding Industry Leaders Conference, an organization dedicated to the educating and consulting of highly motivated individuals and businesses. Learn more at http://alanberg.com/.

This question was recently posted on my Facebook page: “What is your best golden nugget of info for sales and marketing success?”

While many things rushed through my mind, I responded with this: “Invest in your own business the way you want others to invest in you. If you don’t want your customers to take a DIY approach and skip using you, the professional, then you shouldn’t think you can do a better job than the Pros you need (such as website and graphic designers).” 

Are You Investing in Yourself?Help me!

I meet lots and lots of wedding and event Pros every year. Some are just getting started, while others have been in their business, or the industry, for decades. The one consistent theme for the most successful people I meet is their willingness to seek out and invest in the best resources for their businesses. They’ve learned, whether through personal experience or education, that there are some things they’re very good at, and others they’re not. I launched a new website last September and I hired a professional to make it… and I wrote a book on websites! My specialty isn’t building websites – it’s seeing and understanding how to design the look and functionality for the best user experience, for you and your customers. That doesn’t qualify me to program or write code. And, most importantly, my time is better spent working with my current clients, and finding new ones, than trying to learn how to build sites.

So, what are you doing now that you should be outsourcing to people with more expertise? Are you designing your own business cards, brochures, logos, menus, price sheets, emails and more? Are you building your own website? The question is not how much it will cost to outsource; the better question is how much more you can earn by having a better website, better graphic design and better marketing. These days prospects make decisions very quickly on whether or not to keep you on their list of possibilities. If they don’t like your website, they’re probably going to leave within seconds, and they’re not going to give you another chance. If they think your business card seems cheap (thin paper, stock images, poorly designed), they’ll toss it and move on. You’ve done it. I’ve done it. Expect that your prospects will as well.

Are you investing in yourself?

Continue reading