» Don’t Miss the WeddingWire Guest List Guide

WeddingWire-guest-list-guideOne of the latest additions to our suite of planning guides for couples is the new WeddingWire Guest List Guide!

Creating a guest list can be one of the most challenging parts of wedding planning. Whether your clients want a big wedding with hundreds of guests or a more intimate affair with just a few loved ones, deciding whom they’ll invite can be a major source of stress.

Our new Guest List Guide provides your clients with all of the information and etiquette they’ll need to answer these and other guest list-related questions so you can make the process as stress-free as possible.

Sections include:

  • Things to know before creating the guest list, including venue and budget considerations
  • Most common guest list etiquette questions, answered – kids, coworkers, parents’ friends?
  • Save-the-date inspiration for every wedding style and taste
  • Ways to make their guests’ lives easier through hotel room blocks, transportation, and more

The earlier your clients get the answers they need for these tough logistics questions, the earlier they can start focusing on the fun part – choosing the perfect vendor team and selecting all of the fun details that will make their day truly special.

Enjoy our Guest List Guide and help your clients keep the wedding planning process moving smoothly!

» Editors’ Favorite Multicultural Real Weddings

Kim Forrest is one of WeddingWire’s editors. She manages content creation on both WeddingWire and EventWire. Kim has been writing about weddings for nearly a decade, and has been quoted as a weddings expert in the New York Times, Washington Post, Slate, and more. 

One of the best parts of the WeddingWire Editorial Team’s job is reviewing all of the real wedding submissions we receive. We particularly are inspired by weddings with strong cultural elements, as we want to share a diverse group of weddings and wedding inspiration with our readers. We also to want to educate our users about all kinds of wedding customs and traditions, which are so rich, varied, and exciting.

Below are some of our favorite recent multicultural real weddings to inspire your next event! And if you’re interested in submitting a real wedding, engagement shoot, or styled shoot for the opportunity to be published, please visit RealWeds.com for more information.

Jubilant Vietnamese Wedding in Florida with photos by Diana Lupu Photography

– Jubilant Vietnamese Wedding in Florida with photos by Diana Lupu Photography

Bright Indian Wedding, combining Hindu and Sikh traditions, in Texas with photos by Jennifer Weems Photography

– Bright Indian Wedding, combining Hindu and Sikh traditions, in Texas with photos by Jennifer Weems Photography

Nature-Inspired Vietnamese Wedding in New Hampshire with photos by Mon Petit Studio

– Nature-Inspired Vietnamese Wedding in New Hampshire with photos by Mon Petit Studio

Korean and Filipino Wedding in Torono, Canada with photos by Hennygraphy

– Korean and Filipino Wedding in Torono, Canada with photos by Hennygraphy

Sparkling Indian Wedding in New York with photos by Origin Photos

– Sparkling Indian Wedding in New York with photos by Origin Photos

Continue reading

» What’s Hot for 2016: Top Wedding Trends

Kim Forrest is one of WeddingWire’s editors. She manages content creation on both WeddingWire and EventWire. Kim has been writing about weddings for nearly a decade, and has been quoted as a weddings expert in the New York Times, Washington Post, Slate, and more. 

2015 was a groundbreaking year in weddings—from the Supreme Court legalizing same-sex marriage to the nuptials of such celebs as Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux, Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello, and many more. We are looking forward to seeing what’s to come in 2016—and want to share some of our picks for the top wedding trends for the New Year!

GIF Booths

Of course, we all love photo booths at weddings—it’s a fun activity for guests and provides a personalized favor. GIF Booths are an extension of that—creating short moving clips for guests to share on social media.

Flowers and Greenery Hanging from Ceilings and Covering Walls

Floral creations aren’t just for reception tables anymore! We’re seeing floral arrangements in unique places—including hanging from venue ceilings and covering walls to create a memorable photo backdrop (remember the famous photo from Kim and Kanye’s wedding?).

Flowers and Greenery Hanging from Ceilings and Covering Walls

Photo by The Big Affair

High Ballerina Buns

While many brides are still loving the loose, romantic look, we’re also seeing more and more brides wearing their hair in more structured ballerina-inspired updos. We love how this style keeps the hair out of the face all night long!

Doughnuts

Of course, we love any sweet treat, but we think doughnuts will be the dessert of the moment in 2016.

Doughnuts at weddings in 2016

Photo by Joie De Vivre Photography

Expanding Social Media Presence

2015 was the year of the wedding hashtag, with couples asking their guests to use a special hashtag when sharing wedding photos on social media. In 2016, we predict social media expanding even further with couples and guests using Snapchat and Periscope to document the day.

Continue reading

» Sneak Peek: The Hottest 2015 Wedding Trends

Kim Forrest is one of WeddingWire’s editors. She manages content creation on both WeddingWire and EventWire. Kim has been writing about weddings for nearly a decade, and has been quoted as a weddings expert in the New York Times, Washington Post, Slate, and more. 

We can’t believe 2014 is almost over – and what a wonderful year it’s been in the wedding world! As the Editorial Team is hard at work finishing our WinterBook (look for it in January), we’re also looking ahead at the wedding trends we think will be big in 2015.

We hope these ideas will help you prepare for all of those newly-engaged 2015 couples coming your way very soon!

Sneak Peek: The Hottest 2015 Wedding TrendsCenterpiece photo courtesy of XOXO Bride Events; Cake photo by Megan Saul Photography, cake by Molly’s Cupcakes

Greenery

From table runners to decorative wreaths, garlands, and more, we’re seeing greenery emerge from the sidelines and into the spotlight. It’s versatile, and provides an Old World look that’s so chic right now. In this same vein, we’re betting on animal topiaries becoming a hot decor item in the New Year.

Miniature Wedding Cakes    

Instead of or in addition to featuring a multi-tiered wedding cake, couples are also serving several smaller cakes to offer a wide variety of flavors. We’ve even seen a cake displayed on each reception table for an extra-sweet touch.

Continue reading

» Getting Ready for Winter! Send Us Your Winter Real Weddings

Kim Forrest is one of WeddingWire’s editors. She manages content creation on both WeddingWire and EventWire. Kim has been writing about weddings for nearly a decade, and has been quoted as a weddings expert in the New York Times, Washington Post, Slate, and more. 

Even though our FallBook just launched, the WeddingWire Editorial and Design teams are already starting to work on our WinterBook (yes, we are aware that it’s still t-shirt weather in many parts of the country!). We are now accepting real wedding submissions for this e-magazine and would be delighted to consider your work.

Getting Ready for Winter! Send Us Your Winter Real WeddingsVisit RealWeds.com to share your real wedding photos with us, and remember – the WinterBook will only be featuring weddings that took place during the winter season (late November through early March). However, we are looking for both wintry weddings (think snowy backdrops and hot cocoa!) and destination weddings in warmer climates, as long as they took place during the winter season! You are welcome to consider weddings from other seasons to us, but we will only consider those for WeddingWire’s real weddings section or Project Wedding.

A few other tips for submitting winter real weddings:

  • Please share at least 75 photos from the wedding
  • Posed and candid couple photos
  • Lots of detail photos, the more creative and unique the better!
  • Mostly color images, some black & white is fine
  • Images should be at least 900 pixels wide

If your work is selected for our e-magazine, we’ll link to your Storefront as well as the Storefronts of the other participating vendors and share your photos with thousands of couples. The deadline for submissions is October 17th.

Be sure to check out RealWeds.com for more information and to upload your photos!

Cover photo by Lauren Fair Photography

» 8 Must-Have Tips for Improving Your Storefront Photos – From the Editors!

Kim Forrest is one of WeddingWire’s editors. She manages content creation on both WeddingWire and EventWire. Kim has been writing about weddings for nearly a decade, and has been quoted as a weddings expert in the New York Times, Washington Post, Slate, and more. 

The Editorial Team’s role here at WeddingWire is to create content (like our SummerBook!) to entice and inspire couples, and as wedding professionals, your WeddingWire Storefront should do the same. Think of your Storefront as a magazine with you as the editor-in-chief, where you choose the the right photos and information to share. We spend a lot of time browsing WeddingWire Storefronts to look for Wedding Pros to interview and feature in our content (including our seasonal e-magazines!), and we came up with these tips to make your Storefront even more appealing.

8 Must-Have Tips for Improving Your Storefront Photos – From the Editors!Only Professional Photos

You’re more likely to catch an engaged couple’s eye with clear, professional photos. We do not recommend including blurry photos taken with mobile devices on your Storefront. Even the most beautiful wedding element will look unattractive and unappealing with an unclear photo or an image that is cluttered with effects. Make sure to network and maintain good relationships with wedding photographers to obtain these images.

Be Specific

Yes, we love to see beautiful photos of couples as much as the next person, but if you’re a beauty Pro, we want to see the back of the intricate hairdo you did, or a close-up of the bride’s make-up. Make sure that all of your Storefront photos relate to your services.

Categorize Your Photos into Albums

If you offer multiple services (lighting, rentals, flowers) create separate photo albums that highlight each of those services, so if a couple/editor is using you for just one or two of them, they can get a sense of that service as it stands on its own!

The More, The Merrier

Let engaged couples get lost in all of your beautiful work! We say the more images you include, the better. Be sure to provide a variety of examples of different types of weddings in your albums to ensure that a couple can find images that match their style.

Continue reading

» Finding Your Blog’s Voice

Kim Forrest is one of WeddingWire’s editors. She manages content creation on both WeddingWire and EventWire. Kim has been writing about weddings for nearly a decade, and has been quoted as a weddings expert in the New York Times, Washington Post, Slate, and more. 

Last month, WeddingWire CMO, Sonny Ganguly, and I presented a webinar called “How to Make Blogging Work for You.” During the webinar, we discussed how blogging can be a great way to share your expertise and bring more potential clients to your site and business.

We know, we know – starting (and maintaining!) a blog isn’t easy. It’s a commitment.

There are two main reasons why you may be reluctant to start blogging:

  1. There aren’t enough hours in the day
  2. You’re a wedding and events Pro, not a writer!

While I can’t really assist you with the first problem, I have two recommendations: plan your blog post topics ahead of time to make it easier to get started on each post, and also find time to schedule weekly “blogging time,” just like you schedule any important weekly meeting.

I’ll use this post to try to help you embrace your inner writer by providing insights on how to use your event industry expertise and passion and harness it into perfecting your blogging voice!

True, you may not be a professional writer. But you are an expert in the field. So don’t think of blogging as creating beautiful prose. Think of it as sharing your expertise with an interested audience. Write how you talk. Sounds easier than it actually is, I know, but here are a few tips to get you started:

Create Topics in Advance: Instead of spending your designated “writing time” trying to come up with ideas, set aside an hour or two each month to brainstorm a bunch of ideas that you can use throughout the month. If you have a staff, get your whole team onboard to help. Having the ideas set in advance will save time and make writing posts quicker and less stressful. Got writer’s blog? Check out this post for some good blog post prompts.

Read Who You Know: Sure, you may have an RSS feed full of blogs that you read on a daily basis. However, in order to translate your voice to a blog, it’s a good idea to read the blogs of other Pros you know well. Compare their written voice to their spoken voice. Think about what you do and don’t like about these blogs, and get inspired for your own.

Consider Your Audience: Is your blog geared toward engaged couples? Other wedding Pros? Both? Make sure your writing is clear and understandable for your audience. If your post is for engaged couples, be sure to put everything in layman’s terms, or explain what an insider-y word or phrase means. You want your readers to connect with you and feel at ease, instead of needing a dictionary to understand what you’re saying.

Don’t Write a Press Release: Obviously, you want your blog to showcase your business and what a fantastic wedding Pro you are. But you don’t want it to sound like you’re tooting your own horn. So instead of writing “X Wedding Venue has the best catering in Florida,” show your readers photos of your fabulous food, and explain to them what goes into creating the menu for a wedding. Sure, that requires a bit more work on your part, but the result will be a more authentic and impressive blog that readers enjoy and keep coming back to.

Find an “Editor”: No, I don’t mean actually hiring a copy editor. But, it’s a good idea to have an eagle-eyed friend or family member read your posts before you set them live. Aside from looking for spelling and grammatical errors, your “editor” can also alert you if your posts are sounding too PR-ish or just generally not in your voice.

Use Photos: It’s a fact that blogs with lots of great photos are more popular than those without. Big, beautiful photos can be a great starting off point for text and can help simplify and streamline your blog. A post doesn’t have to have a lot of text – an appealing photo with a well-written, succinct caption can be quite successful. Blogs with images get more traffic than those without!

Show Your Passion: If you don’t care about it, don’t write about it. Your love for your craft should shine through in your blog. Even if you’re not the best technical writer, passionate prose can mask any grammatical or spelling errors and help readers connect with you. Think of a blog as another way to share your expertise and talents!

Think SEO, But Don’t Let it Control You: We’ve discussed the importance of making your website and blog SEO-friendly time and again. I’m going to go against the grain a bit and advise you not to focus too much on SEO when writing. Yes, it’s important to use SEO best practices when brainstorming topics and writing, but if there’s something you want to write about that’s not the best SEO-wise – go for it! Don’t let SEO stifle your creativity, your voice, and your style.

Keep Going: Remember this: It takes time for a blog to develop a following and traction. Don’t get discouraged if your first posts aren’t widely read or well received. One of the worst things is when a wedding Pro gives up a blog after just a few posts. Keep writing and posting regularly, keep honing your voice – don’t give up!

» An Inside Look: We’re Off to Bridal Week!

Kim Forrest is one of WeddingWire’s editors. She manages content creation on both WeddingWire and EventWire. Kim has been writing about weddings for nearly a decade, and has been quoted as a weddings expert in the New York Times, Washington Post, Slate, and more. 

Twice a year, members of the WeddingWire team attend New York International Bridal Week, commonly referred to in the industry as Bridal Market! For those unfamiliar, this event is basically Fashion Week for wedding dresses, where all of the top designers share their collections at runway shows, presentations, and informal appointments for both retailers and the wedding press. So basically, we get to see the newest wedding dresses as they hit the runway – months before they’re available in stores. We’re super-excited that New York International Bridal Week is coming up in just a few weeks – April 19-22 – and we’ll be there to cover it all!

Now, there are a lot, and we mean, a lot of shows to attend. While the home base of  the event is located at Pier 92 on the west side of Manhattan, there are shows throughout the day all over the city – uptown, downtown, and everywhere in between. To make it through the day, we rely on comfortable shoes (taxis can be hard to come by and we often find ourselves hoofing it!), our trusty spreadsheet/calendar, our phones (and chargers!), and lots and lots of candy!

But it’s not all sweet treats and gorgeous gowns – we’re at Bridal Week to work. At each show, we have our hands full – taking written notes, Tweeting, pinning, Facebook-ing, Instagramming, and blogging. We want to make sure you have the latest info on the hottest gowns as they step off the runway. We’re also looking for the hottest trends – the styles brides will be clamoring for in the coming months. Last season, it was all about lace, peplums, sleeves, pink, and gold – but we’re certainly curious about what we’ll find this time around. Our hunch is we’ll see a lot of glamorous, Great Gatsby-inspired gowns in anticipation of the upcoming Baz Luhrmann film, but we’ll just have to wait and see!

Mark your calendars! Starting on April 19th, we’ll be sharing the newest wedding dresses through WeddingWire’s social media channels – Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram, plus presenting the hottest trends on the WeddingWire blog. We’ll also have photo slideshows of every runway show on our Fashion Ideas section so you can check out your favorite gowns, and a Inside Look recap specifically for Pros like you on the WeddingWireEDU blog following the event.

If you’ll be at the event checking out the newest designs, we would love to see you! Come visit our WeddingWire Lounge (Booth #299, Pier 94)  to relax while re-charging your phone and tablet. We hope to see you there!

» Editor’s Note: Beating Writer’s Block

Kim Forrest is one of WeddingWire’s editors. She manages content creation on both WeddingWire and EventWire. Kim has been writing about weddings for nearly a decade, and has been quoted as a weddings expert in the New York Times, Washington Post, Slate, and more. 

So, you’ve started your very own blog. Maybe you’ve been consistently creating content for a month or two, but now you find yourself stuck with nothing more to write about. You have writer’s block, a totally common ailment that all writers face every now and again. Rather than let your blog sit dormant (not the best idea if you’re looking to grow followers and social shares), let us help you get your creative juices flowing with our tips for beating writer’s block!

We’ve done the brainstorming for you and created some fun topic ideas for your business based on your wedding industry category. Now you simply have to set aside some time, get ready, set, and start blogging! And, remember, beautiful, unique and interesting images showcasing your work is always important to include on your blog (such as the photo below)!

Photo Credit: K. Thompson Photography

Venues

“A Venue For All Seasons” – Share (professional) photos of your venue in different seasons, highlighting how the space could be utilized and decorated at different times of year and for different style events. This shows the beauty and versatility of your space!

Caterers

“Real Couple’s Menu” – Outline a creative menu from a recent wedding, and discuss how you worked with the couple to make their vision come to life. Share professional photos of the food, if you can!

Flowers

“Flower of the Week” – Write a post featuring a specific blossom. Talk about why you love the flower so much and share some photos of bouquets or centerpieces you’ve created using the particular bloom.

Wedding Planners

“If I Could Plan It” – Design a dream “wedding” for a recently-engaged celebrity. Which flowers would you suggest Jennifer Aniston use at her wedding? Which venue would you choose for Kelly Clarkson? This is a fun way to let your imagination run wild and show couples how creative you can be!

Band, DJ or Ceremony Music

“What’s That Song?” – Share a few under-the-radar songs that would work well at various moments throughout the wedding, or your favorite “crowd pleaser” songs that always get the party started or create a special unforgettable moment.

Dress and Attire

“Perfect Pairs” – Showcase a wedding gown that you carry in your salon, along with a bridesmaid dress that would look great alongside it. Give insight into the designer, the style and fit. This makes a great weekly feature!

Photographers/Videographers

“Real Weddings and Events” – You’re in luck. You can easily share real weddings and events on your blog. But instead of just featuring photos or video of the event, be sure to get some quotes from the couple and feature a full vendor list to give credit where it’s due. Use great descriptive words to explain the event, and people searching for similar inspiration will more likely find your work! Request that your featured couple, and the other Pros involved with the event, share your post on their social networks to gain added exposure.

Continue reading

» Editor’s Note: Getting Published

Kim Forrest is one of WeddingWire’s editors. She manages content creation on both WeddingWire and EventWire. Kim has been writing about weddings for nearly a decade, and has been quoted as a weddings expert in the New York Times, Washington Post, Slate, and more.  

One of my main responsibilities here at WeddingWire is to select real weddings to feature on our WeddingWire blog, as well as real events for our EventWire sites including BirthdayWire, BabyShowerWire, and MitzvahWire. Checking my inbox each morning feels like Christmas – I love the fact that I never know what types of weddings I’ll see on any given day.

I’m often asked by vendors: “How do I get a real wedding published on your blog?” It’s not an easy answer, but there are things all vendors can do to make their submissions more blog-worthy. Here are some of my top tips, but please note that I’m only speaking for myself. Other editors at other blogs may have different requirements.

Photo credit: Lennon Photo

Submit the Right Way: Before sending a real wedding or event to a blog or print publication, read any provided instructions about the types of submissions they are looking for and how submissions should be presented. Be familiar with the blog’s style and focus before submitting – you wouldn’t want to submit a wedding that takes place in New York to a blog that only features West Coast weddings (fortunately, WeddingWire features weddings from all over the world!). For WeddingWire‘s blog, our guidelines can be found here, and we also have instructions for BirthdayWire, BabyShowerWire, and MitzvahWire. We also receive submissions through Two Bright Lights.

Get Permission: Make sure you have the OK from all involved parties (particularly the photographer and the couple) before submitting a real wedding. Many blogs will contact the newlyweds for quotes, so it’s important that everyone is on board.

Be Clear: We prefer to see photos with minimal effects and filtering. We want to see your images as clearly as possible, and too many effects can make an image look cluttered.

All About the Mix: We like to see  a mix of horizontal and vertical images, and we’d rather see more color images than black and white. While black and white images can be absolutely gorgeous, it’s important that we showcase a wedding’s color scheme in our posts.

It’s All in the Details: Don’t get me wrong, I love a gorgeous couple as much as any blog editor. But real wedding submissions should focus on detail shots. While of course you should send a few portraits of the couple, make sure your post features plenty of details – from the bouquet to the centerpieces, the cake to the escort cards and invitations. These details should be shot clearly and straight-on so that they’re easy to see.

Be Unique: While there isn’t one particular wedding style that we gravitate to, we tend to select real weddings that surprise us. We’ve seen a lot (and we mean a lot) of weddings and we see many of the same details over and over again. Show us weddings that you’re excited about.

The More, the Merrier: Other blogs may disagree, but we would rather edit down your photos ourselves than be left wanting more. As long as you’re not sending repetitive images, more photos = a better, more well-rounded submission.

Tell Their Story: Use both words and pictures to take us through the wedding day. When it comes to text, keep it short and sweet – just a few sentences describing the event is all we need. Let the photos do the talking – be sure to show images from all parts of the day, from getting ready to the ceremony to the cocktail hour through the reception.

Don’t Take It Personally: There are many reasons why we might not accept a submission. Perhaps we’ve been featuring a lot of pink/beach/sparkly weddings lately and want to mix it up. The types of weddings we’re looking for changes throughout the year, so don’t take a rejection too much to heart – and feel free to submit again! Additionally, we keep all submissions on file, so even if your submissions not featured right away, it could be used in the future.