» WeddingWire Networking Night San Francisco

This week, local wedding professionals gathered at The Marker for WeddingWire Networking Night San Francisco!

At the Networking Night, wedding professionals had the opportunity to enjoy a unique venue space, network with other local vendors across all service categories, and meet members of the WeddingWire team. Plus, they learned 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 professionals who joined us! We’re excited to share highlights from the event including the educational presentation, our latest issue of WedInsights, and photos from the evening below.

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

Finally, we’re excited to announce the winner of our WeddingWire Prize Pack give away – congrats to Thea from Kavamore Press!

» WeddingWire Networking Night Houston

This week, local wedding professionals gathered at The Magnolia Hotel for WeddingWire Networking Night Houston!

At the Networking Night Houston, wedding professionals had the opportunity to enjoy a stunning venue space, network with other local vendors across all service categories, and meet members of the WeddingWire team. Plus, they learned about local-industry statistics and how to better reach engaged couples through social media from WeddingWire’s Regional Manager of Customer Success, Megan Hayes.

Thank you to all the wonderful professionals who joined us! We’re excited to share highlights from the event including the educational presentation, our latest issue of WedInsights, and photos from the evening below.

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

Finally, we’re excited to announce the winner of our WeddingWire Prize Pack give away – congrats to Kristin from Bourbon and Lace Events!

» WeddingWire Networking Night Orange County

This week, local wedding professionals gathered at the Harborside Grand Ballroom for WeddingWire Networking Night Orange County!

At the Networking Night, Orange County wedding professionals had the opportunity to enjoy a stunning venue space, network with other local professionals across all service categories, and meet members of the WeddingWire team.

Thank you to all the wonderful pros who joined us! We’re excited to share the slides from our video educational presentation, our latest issue of WedInsights, and photos from the fantastic evening below.

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

The elegant event space and delicious appetizers provided by the Harborside Grand Ballroom
Amazing photos from the evening captured by Jim Kennedy Photographers
Fantastic DJ services provided by SoundWave Productions DJ & Lighting
Elegant floral arrangements provided by Susan’s Floral Design
Fun photo booth provided by Omni Booth

Finally, we’re excited to announce the winner of our WeddingWire Prize Pack give away – congrats to Sara from Avenue of the Arts Hotel!

» How to Keep Your Storefront Fresh Year-Round

storefront tips

Photo by Bradley Images

Even when you’re at your busiest during wedding season, your Storefront still needs a little love! Actively maintaining your Storefront will help you book business throughout the year. We’re not talking about a major time commitment or Storefront overhaul – you can build simple Storefront revisions and updates into your process to make it manageable for your busy schedule.

Here are a few easy ways to ensure your Storefront makes a strong impression for your business year-round:  

Review your main image – and make sure it still stands out!

Even though it’s small, your thumbnail image is very important! That tiny photo could make or break a couple’s decision to click to your Storefront as they are browsing the WeddingWire directory for wedding professionals in your category. Make sure that your business stands out by adding a high quality, compelling image.

Take action:

  1. Avoid using generic photos. You want to showcase your expertise in a way that will catch the eye of a couple. Be sure to use professional photography to ensure that the photo composition, lighting and focus are ideal.
  2. Test it on mobile. Couples are browsing through Storefronts on their phones, so take a moment to ensure that your thumbnail is compatible. Is it missing the detail you were trying to show? Did you turn the couple into headless horsemen? If so, fix it!
  3. Look at your competition’s thumbnail images. You’ll want your main image to stand out and make the best first impression of your business so that you will attract more engaged couples. It’s important to check this a few times per year to ensure that it still stands out.

Pro tip: Make sure your main image and photos meet WeddingWire’s Storefront content guidelines when making updates.

Verify that all information is up-to-date.

Take the time to read through your FAQs and your business description (and all of the text on your Storefront); as silly as it might feel, do it out loud! Does it mention old services that you no longer offer? Question every sentence to make sure that you are describing your business accurately.

Take action:

  1. Check out the Storefront content requirements for guidelines. We encourage you to update your Storefront regularly so that it accurately portrays your brand and your services. You want to send a consistent message to potential clients and be sure to make a strong first impression when they visit your Storefront. Keep in mind that WeddingWire’s content team will review and update your Storefront content whenever you make changes in order to help improve your ranking across top search engines and help you book more couples.
  2. Make sure pricing and FAQs are up-to-date. The couple is on your Storefront after all, so you’ve already gotten them this far! Make sure that you are providing all of the key details that they are looking for when evaluating your business and comparing you to other wedding professionals in your category. Remember that 88% of couples want to see pricing information before getting in contact with a vendor, so be sure to keep your pricing details  updated.

Captivate couples using your reviews.

After your thumbnail image and your Storefront photos, the next thing a couple will look at is your reviews. The more reviews you have, the more engaged couples will be able to see the consistency of your work and the way past couples feel about you. The more recent your reviews, the more a couple will be able to see that your business is presently providing a great service. Couples care what you did last week or last month, not so much what you did over a year ago!  

While having a ton of reviews is great, it’s not the only thing couples are considering when they are looking at your reviews. Couples are also looking at the recency, your responses and emotional keywords that can connect them to experiences you provided other couples.

Take action:

  1. Update your highlighted review. Premium members can highlight a review; choose a review that is recent, short-to-medium in length and uses great emotional words at the beginning. Don’t pick the longest review you’ve ever received. Couples are likely to skim, so you want them to quickly get the gist when reading through. This doesn’t have to be your most recent review, but it should ideally be one from the same calendar year.
  2. Respond to all reviews and make sure your responses include personal details about that couple’s day. These responses should be written with future couples in mind and show that you are engaged with the couple from start to finish.

Build these tips into your recurring to-do list to make sure that you are maximizing your leads and bookings throughout the year. Even setting aside 30 minutes a week to respond to recent reviews and look over your Storefront will benefit you in the long-run – you can do it!

» WeddingWire Networking Night Northern New Jersey

This week, local wedding professionals gathered at The Park Savoy for WeddingWire Networking Night Northern New Jersey!

At the Networking Night, Northern New Jersey pros had the opportunity to enjoy a gorgeous venue space, network with other local professionals across all service categories, and meet members of the WeddingWire team. Plus, they learned about how to handle tough pricing questions from WeddingWire Education Guru, 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 latest issue of WedInsights, and photos from the enjoyable evening below.

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

Finally, we’re excited to announce the winner of our WeddingWire Prize Pack give away – congrats to Nikisha of Inviting Treasures!

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» WeddingWire Networking Night Fort Lauderdale

This week, local wedding professionals gathered at The Venue Fort Lauderdale for WeddingWire Networking Night Fort Lauderdale!

At the Networking Night, Fort Lauderdale pros had the opportunity to enjoy a stunning venue space, network with other local professionals across all service categories, and meet members of the WeddingWire team. Plus, they learned more about local industry statistics and how to better reach engaged couples through social media during a brief 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 latest issue of WedInsights, and amazing photos from the evening below.

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

Finally, we’re excited to announce the winner of our WeddingWire Prize Pack give away – congrats to Yamille of DoubleTree Ocean Point Resort & Spa!

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» 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!

» Today is Our 1,000th Blog Post!

Today is Our 1,000th Blog Post!As of today, we’ve published 1,000 blog posts on the WeddingWireEDU Blog. We are excited to have reached this milestone in our efforts to continue education for all our wedding and events professionals!

Since our first blog post in June of 2008, WeddingWireEDU has been hard at work providing the latest educational resources for our community of Pros on a variety of topics, including:

  • Social media marketing
  • Search engine optimization
  • Small business tips and guidelines
  • Customer relationship management
  • Sales strategies and tactics

Before we added more extensive resources to the in-account Education Center for premium Pros, we were writing posts for people within our network and beyond. For a little trip down memory lane, head over to our Archive page and view our posts by date to see how we’ve grown!

We want to extend a huge thank you to all the amazing Wedding Pros who helped us reach this exciting milestone and have been part of the journey! Questions and requests from our community help us learn how we can best help wedding professionals and power your business.

What would you like us to post about next? Let us know in the comments!

» Happy Holidays from WeddingWire!

From our team to yours, Happy Holidays!

It’s not too late to spread your own holiday cheer! You can send your own WeddingWire Holiday Cheer eCard to your family, friends and clients with a personalized message. Simply type in your name and the email address you’d like to send the card to in our form, type your own personal message and send joy to whoever you choose!

Send your eCard > 

» The Changing Landscape of Same-Sex Wedding Planning

In October, we announced the results from our recent survey of same-sex weddings in 2012. The comprehensive survey asked members of the WeddingWire and GayWeddings.com communities to share the details of their recent wedding planning experience.

Survey results indicated same-sex couples are expanding the ways they plan their weddings, just as the mainstream market is embracing them. This infographic identifies some the key trends in same-sex wedding planning, so our LGBTQ-friendly Pros can be ready to embrace the growing same-sex community!

The Changing Landscape of Same-Sex Wedding Planning

» Announcing the 2013 WeddingWire FallBook

2013 WeddingWire FallBookWe are so excited to share our 2013 WeddingWire FallBook, the look book we create seasonally with the latest trends, real wedding inspiration, fashion and more

This year’s FallBook is focused on décor – everything from centerpieces to stationary. Read up on expert advice and draw inspiration from any of the five real weddings included. There’s plenty to discover on a variety of wedding-related features, but we’ve listed a few below!

  • Take our beauty quiz to find your best hair and makeup looks
  • Check out the latest in wedding fashion and see our suggested styling tips
  • Upload a photo of yourself and test the results with our new WeddingWire Makeover Tool
  • Take a sneak peek at some exciting new WeddingWire features on the way
  • And much more!

We’ve made this year’s edition of the FallBook super easy to share – so please do! Whether you’re passing along the whole book to your clients or pinning some of the most inspiring images to your own boards, we’ve got you covered.

We hope this issue will provide you and your clients with unique ideas and endless inspiration. Check out the full WeddingWire FallBook and let us know what you think!

» Best Practices to Stand Out with Reviews

Webinar Recap!

Best Practices to Stand Out with ReviewsYesterday, we held our monthly educational webinar, focused on showcasing your business expertise through reviews! WeddingWire CMO, Sonny Ganguly, along with several WeddingWire Pros who have collected over 100 Reviews, detailed their top tips and strategies to build a strong reputation.

In the fast-paced and competitive wedding and events industry, reviews, ratings and referrals all play an important role in your ability to get more business. Today, 95% of engaged couples use online reviews to select their vendors. It’s more important than ever to pay attention to what your customers are saying, see the value in sharing their feedback with other couples searching for their wedding professionals online, and actively work to build up your reviews.

Below are some of the most interesting takeaways from this month’s webinar:

  • 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
  • Collecting feedback about your business should be part of your sales cycle
  • Feedback can come in the form of reviews, endorsements, testimonials, and social sharing
  • The magic number of reviews for consumers is 11 or more
  • Average traffic increases 106% for wedding pros with 11-20 reviews
  • Consumers look at the quality, quantity, recency, and consistency of your reviews
  • The biggest obstacle to receiving reviews is not asking!

Finally, remember should you receive a less than perfect review (which is bound to happen from time to time for all Pros), keep your cool, take the high road and be polite – other couples will see your reaction!

Ready for more education or want to watch this webinar in its entirety? All of our past webinars are available in our Education Center for premium Pros, and stay tuned for information on next month’s webinar!