» Wedding MBA: Don’t Miss Ask the Experts and Exciting New Content!

We can’t wait to see wedding pros from around the country for three full days of top-notch educational seminars at Wedding MBA this October 3-5 in Las Vegas. Don’t miss the fun and lots of exciting new content!

This year, the conference will start Monday morning and end after our celebratory Happy Hour at the Exhibit Hall Wednesday evening. Be sure to plan your travel accordingly to not miss any valuable sessions!

What can you expect at Wedding MBA?

  • The conference kicks off with a brand new track — Ask the Experts. During these sessions from 9am-12pm on Monday, you will be able to visit a variety of rooms on topics that matter to your business success and ask tough questions to experts in categories such as Online Marketing, Websites, SEO, Legal and more. Bring your toughest questions, or just pop around and learn tips from the questions posed by your peers. WeddingWire is sponsoring the Online Marketing track, so stop by to ask your questions our CMO Sonny Ganguly and Education Experts Alan Berg and Meghan Ely!
  • Monday afternoon you can follow the breakout track that applies to your business category and learn from other successful pros in your area of service such as Venues, Wedding Planners, DJs & Lighting, Photography, Officiants and more.
  • Tuesday starts bright and early at 8am with exciting sessions from top industry professionals including our own CMO Sonny Ganguly and CEO Timothy Chi, WeddingWire Education Experts and many more. Come ready and charged up for a full day of note taking and social sharing!
  • What’s a trip to Vegas without hitting the town? Stay tuned for more details on our can’t-miss annual party Tuesday night for conference attendees.
  • Tuesday and Wednesday from 12-6pm you will be able to visit the businesses participating in the Exhibit Hall. Don’t miss the fun give aways and surprises we have planned each day in the WeddingWire Lounge!
  • Wednesday is another full day packed with valuable business presentations you won’t want to miss. You’ll leave with a full agenda of ideas to apply to your business this year and beyond.
  • Join us to cheers to the end of a great conference with new friends, music, and a celebratory drink (or two!) at WeddingWire’s complimentary Happy Hour in the Exhibit Hall starting at 6pm.

Not yet signed up to attend? Don’t miss out! Register using this special link to save an extra $20 on the current ticket price simply by being a WeddingWire member (your discount will be applied when you complete checkout). See you in Vegas!

Sonny and Tim in Uniform

WW staff in boothKathryn 1

 

» WeddingWire Networking Night Seattle

Earlier this week, wedding professionals gathered at The Foundry by Herban Feast for WeddingWire Networking Night Seattle!

At the Networking Night, Seattle pros had the opportunity to enjoy a unique, gorgeous venue space, network with other local professionals across all service categories, meet members of the WeddingWire team, learn more about local-industry statistics and how engaged couples make their purchasing decisions from WeddingWire’s Director of Market Insights, Andy Whittaker.

Thank you to all the wonderful pros who joined us! We’re excited to share highlights from the event including the educational presentation, our newest issue of WedInsights, and beautiful photos from the evening. If you want to continue the conversation with some of the pros you met at the event, check out the WeddingWire Networking Night Seattle 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:

Click here to check out the photo booth pictures from Drunken Pixel Photo Booth!

And finally, we’re excited to announce the winner of our WeddingWire Prize Pack – congrats to Emily of Mle Jayne Photography!

WeddingWire Networking Night Seattle 2016
WeddingWire Networking Night Seattle 2016
WeddingWire Networking Night Seattle 2016
WeddingWire Networking Night Seattle 2016 Continue reading

» WeddingWire Networking Night Portland

Earlier this week, wedding professionals gathered at The Aerie at Eagle Landing for WeddingWire Networking Night Portland!

At the Networking Night, Portland pros had the opportunity to enjoy a gorgeous venue space, network with other local professionals across all service categories, meet members of the WeddingWire team, learn more about local-industry statistics and how engaged couples make their purchasing decisions from WeddingWire’s Director of Market Insights, Andy Whittaker.

Thank you to all the wonderful pros who joined us! We’re excited to share highlights from the event including the educational presentation, our newest issue of WedInsights, and beautiful photos from the evening. If you want to continue the conversation with some of the pros you met at the event, check out the WeddingWire Networking Night Portland 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:

We’re excited to announce the winner of our WeddingWire Prize Pack – congrats to MaryAnn of Simply Beautiful Cakes!

WeddingWire Networking Night Portland 2016
WeddingWire Networking Night Portland 2016
WeddingWire Networking Night Portland 2016
WeddingWire Networking Night Portland 2016 Continue reading

» Do You Deserve an A+? Share Our Back-To-School Reviews Sweepstakes

Do You Deserve an A+? Share Our Back-To-School Reviews SweepstakesWith the summer months winding down and students heading back to school, we’re giving your clients the chance to win $500!

As part of our Back-to-School Reviews Sweepstakes, couples who write two or more reviews on WeddingWire for at least two separate pros now through September 30, 2016, are automatically entered to win $500. For extra credit, entries double if your clients write four or more reviews.

Since 38% of engagements occurring between November and February, a whole new class of engaged couples is right around the corner! Getting reviews now from your 2016 clients will help other engaged couples decide to book your business, plus you’ll earn more reviews towards our our WeddingWire Rated® program and the WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards®, awarded each year in January.

Remember that customers look at the quality, quantity, recency and consistency of your reviews, meaning that you should be collecting at least one review each month. What better way to build your online reputation and encourage future clients to reach out than with the prospect of winning a cash reward?

We’ve added custom language to the Review Collector tool in your account so you can start spreading the word to your past clients!

Start requesting reviews now to fill out your 2016 ‘report card’ >>

If you have any additional questions regarding our latest reviews contest, please see our Official Rules.

» Latest Updates to Make Connecting with Clients Easier

We’ve made some exciting updates to your WeddingWire account! To make it easier than ever to share your favorite documents, stay organized, and communicate more quickly, we’ve added a number of WeddingWire Messages enhancements. Plus, Florists and Wedding Planners will notice updated new vendor directory search filters based on pricing information. Learn more about each update below!

Frequently Attached Documents in WeddingWire Messages

Frequently Attached Documents

Do you have a few key documents you typically share with couples who are interested in learning more about your business, such as pricing packages, service details, or a marketing brochure? Now, it’s easier than ever to share these attachments from within your Messages inbox.

How does it work?

The attachments you’ve shared most will be listed as ‘Frequent Attachments’ when you click ‘Attach File’ while you’re composing a message reply.  Simply select one and send it with your message. If you prefer, you can still choose to upload custom attachments from your computer each time, but it’s faster to choose a commonly shared document from this list.

Inbox Search

Inbox Search in WeddingWire Messages

Staying on top of your Messages or finding a specific client’s history can be challenging for busy wedding pros. To help, we’ve added a new search feature to your Messages inbox.

How does it work?

Use the new search box at the top of your Messages inbox within your account to search by key information and instantly find the client details you need. You can search by first name, last name, email address, or even past message content to find what you’re looking for and catch up on your conversation.

Continue reading

» WeddingWire Networking Night Calgary

Earlier this week, wedding professionals gathered at the Coast Plaza Hotel & Conference Centre for WeddingWire Networking Night Calgary!

At the Networking Night, Calgary pros had the opportunity to enjoy a gorgeous venue space, network with other local professionals across all service categories, meet members of the WeddingWire team, learn more about our approach in Canada from Regional Manager for Customer Success, Megan Hayes, and get tips on how to handle tough pricing questions from WeddingWire Education Guru and industry expert Alan Berg.

Thank you to all the wonderful pros who joined us! We’re excited to share highlights from the event including the educational presentation, our newest issue of WedInsights, and beautiful photos from the evening. If you want to continue the conversation with some of the pros you met at the event, check out the WeddingWire Networking Night Calgary 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:

We’re excited to announce the winner of our WeddingWire Prize Pack – congrats to Jess of Jess Cockburn Photography!

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» Can You Hear Me Now? Communication Tips to Get More Replies and Bookings

July-Webinar-ImageWebinar recap!

Communicating with clients in this day in age can be very confusing. Technology has transformed not only the way we communicate, but what we should be saying and how we should be saying it.

It’s important to be familiar with the best modern communication practices in order to get more replies and book more couples! In this month’s webinar for Premium members, WeddingWire Education Guru Alan Berg shared his tips for successful communication in the wedding industry!

Here are the 6 T’s that Alan suggests for better client communication:

    • Technology. With literally thousands of apps available for communication–from Messages, to Live Chat, to email, to calling, etc.– it’s difficult to know the best way to get in touch with a couple. At the end of the day, customer convenience is the motto to live by. Follow their lead using their preferred communication type. If you’re making the first contact, email is typically your safest bet, as most couples prefer email over all other communication methods.
    • Timing. The faster you respond to a couple, the more likely it is that they will choose your business over others. Most couples expect a response within 24 hours, so if you know you won’t be able to get back to them before then, at least make contact to let them know you will be in touch soon.
    • Text. Whatever method of communication you choose, be sure to keep your message short and sweet. Also make sure that anything you send can be easily read on a mobile device. Alan suggests that you avoid using attachments and graphics when possible, as those tend not to load properly on mobile devices.
    • Tone. When it comes to your tone, the golden rule is to mirror your client. Get a feel for their manner, and respond accordingly. However, don’t feel obligated to ditch your unique voice, and don’t change your tone once you’ve booked a client. Stay true to yourself and your business personality!
    • Transition. Alan says that one of the most important elements to remember (and one that many business owners forget) is to always provide a call to action. Give your clients a sense of direction, letting them know what the next best step is. However, don’t be pushy; you don’t want to rush them or make them feel forced into an appointment.
    • Tenacity. Don’t give up on a sale if you haven’t heard back right away! Couples are very busy when planning a wedding, so follow up to remind them that you still care about their sale. Ask for the sale if they ask you a question, but avoid seeming impatient. It’s a best practice to follow up 3-5 times on a lead before you let it go, just remain professional and try different approaches to see what gets you a reply.

For more great advice, watch the full webinar, and be sure to check out Alan’s blog all about the business of weddings!

Pro tip: WeddingWire Messages is a fast and easy way to connect with couples, available now in your account! You’ll be notified about new leads or messages, and you can reply using your email, account or mobile device. You’re easily able to send attachments, manage conversations and client details, and move from inquiry to marked as booked instantly. Learn more here!

» WeddingWire Networking Night Grand Rapids

Yesterday, wedding professionals gathered at Noto’s Old World Italian Dining and Banquet for WeddingWire Networking Night Grand Rapids!

At the Networking Night, Grand Rapids pros had the opportunity to enjoy a stunning venue space, network with other local professionals across all service categories, meet members of the WeddingWire team, and listen to an educational presentation by WeddingWire’s Director of Market Insights, Andy Whittaker.

Thank you to all the wonderful pros who joined us! We’re excited to share highlights from the event including the educational presentation, our newest issue of WedInsights, and gorgeous 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 Grand Rapids board in the Pro Forums.

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

We’re excited to announce the winner of our WeddingWire Prize Pack – congrats to Loren of YoloEventPics!

WeddingWire Networking Night Grand Rapids 2016
WeddingWire Networking Night Grand Rapids 2016
WeddingWire Networking Night Grand Rapids 2016
WeddingWire Networking Night Grand Rapids 2016 Continue reading

» WeddingWire Networking Night Detroit

Earlier this week, wedding professionals gathered at the Gem Theatre for WeddingWire Networking Night Detroit!

At the Networking Night, Detroit pros had the opportunity to enjoy a historic venue space, network with other local professionals across all service categories, meet members of the WeddingWire team, and listen to an educational presentation by WeddingWire’s Regional Manager of Customer Success, Megan Hayes.

Thank you to all the wonderful pros who joined us! We’re excited to share highlights from the event including the educational presentation, our newest issue of WedInsights, and beautiful photos from the evening. If you want to continue the conversation with some of the pros you met at the event, check out the WeddingWire Networking Night Detroit 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:

We’re excited to announce the winner of our WeddingWire Prize Pack – congrats to Trevor of Me + Him Photography!

WeddingWire Networking Night Detroit 2016
WeddingWire Networking Night Detroit 2016
WeddingWire Networking Night Detroit 2016
WeddingWire Networking Night Detroit 2016 Continue reading

» Account Updates to Reviews and Messages

We’ve made some updates to your WeddingWire experience to help you connect with more couples searching for their wedding team. Learn more about these updates to reviews and messages below!

Additional Details in Reviews

Recent reviews now display more information about the services you provided for past clients. These details are listed to give users more context about what offerings that reviewer used from your business, such as whether a venue was booked for a ceremony, reception, or rehearsal dinner; or if they had additional services such as event set-up, uplighting or catering.

How do we get this information? After submitting a review, couples are able to complete an optional set of questions based on your business category, as well as the types of services you provide as noted in the FAQ section of your Storefront. If the user completes these optional questions, the additional information will be listed with their review to help confirm which if your business services they used for their wedding that other couples may be interested in.

Review Enhancement

Read Your Reviews>>

Quick Replies to Messages

It can be difficult to stay on top of your leads while also managing current clients, especially during busy season! Now, in addition to personal message replies, you can also let a couple know if you’re unavailable on their requested date with a ‘quick reply’ right from your message notification email or within your account. Simply click on ‘Not Available’ to auto-generate a customizable message to thank them for their inquiry, and indicate you’re booked on their date. Continue reading

» Infographic: Building Your Reputation Through Wedding Industry Relationships

A strong reputation is one of the best marketing tools you can have as a wedding professional – so don’t be afraid to network locally with potential clients and build relationships with other wedding pros! By reaching out to your peers, you can create professional connections that can lead to more referrals which means more leads. It’s important to get involved in your community to spread your name and your business skills in order to develop a powerful reputation.

Check out our latest infographic, which provides important highlights from our recent webinar all about building your reputation through wedding industry relationships, hosted by WeddingWire Education Expert Andy Ebon.

June_Webinar_Infographic

To learn more, watch the full webinar available any time to all Premium members. And check out the latest industry data and reports available at WedInsights.com!

» Gay Weddings By The Numbers: The Year Since Marriage Equality

This post was written by WeddingWire Education Expert Kathryn Hamm, Publisher of GayWeddings, 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.

From a market perspective, one of the most interesting results of our post-marriage equality existence is that the economic impact story will finally be revealed rather than projected. As we cross the threshold of June 26, 2016 – one year since the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v Hodges decision – we can now offer our first concrete snapshot of what did happen nationally for same-sex couples and the wedding market.

Gay Weddings By The Numbers: The Year Since Marriage EqualityIn addition to our 2016 Survey of Contemporary Couples and Wedding Trends – a highly disciplined national study of more than 1,400 LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ recently married couples, conducted by the research teams at WeddingWire and Community Marketing & Insights, along with the unmatched same-sex wedding market experience of yours truly (17 years) and Bernadette Smith of the Gay Wedding Institute (12 years) – Gallup and a scholar from the Williams Institute have offered some analysis of what has happened in the past year.

The headliner, of course, is that Gary Gates, a recently retired distinguished scholar at the Williams Institute of UCLA, analyzed our Contemporary Couples report and the Gallup report, concluding that same-sex couples spent more than $1.3 billion on their weddings in the past year. I think it’s safe to say that the economic impact in this past year was clear.

But what can we expect moving forward?

To answer that question, here are some economic and demographic highlights that may impact your decision-making as you consider your approach to expanding your services to be inclusive of all couples:

  • Gallup estimates that approximately 123,00 same-sex couples married in the U.S. in the past year.
  • The Gallup poll showed an increase in couples living together who reported being married as having grown from 38% pre-Obergefell to almost half of all same-sex couples (49%) post-Obergefell.
  • Gallup estimates that 3.9% percent of adults in the U.S. identify as LGBT.

Given the above, it’s important to note that Gallup, in looking at its poll results between June-Nov of 2015 and Nov 2015-June 2016, sees the spike in same-sex marriages may be leveling off. This is certainly a trend that I expected to see that is, once federal marriage equality occurred, any couples who had been waiting for this milestone would be prepared to get married in relatively short order and more ‘typical’ market rhythms would be upon us.

So, while we saw 123,000 couples spend $1.3 billion in the past year, can we count on this as a stable predictor?

Continue reading