Hard Core D.I.Y. Projects

It is easy to over do it when you are a do-it-yourselfer. Make sure you choose projects that will shine and not make you stress out!

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Are you a Hard Core “Do-It-Yourselfer”?

As a Full-Service Wedding Planner, I get it. Doing projects for your wedding can be tons of fun and save you a lot of money. I want to make sure that you select projects and items that will be the right fit for your time schedule and budget.

There are three major things to consider when choosing which projects to tackle yourself.

1) You must be able to create it in advance and make sure it will last until the wedding.

2) It should not be something that you are super particular about, DIY and perfection often do not go hand in hand.

3) Set up or assembly should not require your presence on the wedding day, you have enough to do already.

So, how do you decide what you will and won’t do? The first thing to do is to figure out why you want to do these projects in the first place. Is it because you want to show off your skills? Is it because you want to make something personal for your guests? Is it because you want to save money? No matter what the reason, make sure that you select projects that will allow you to meet your needs and not cause additional stress.

 

If you want to make something to give to your guests, try making a reception favor that will keep without any special care. However, try to avoid making food items.

If you want to show off your skills, try showcasing them in just a few areas of interest like the guest book table or another specialty table. This is a great was to display your talents, without over committing yourself.

For more tips to avoid stress join us at  Wedding State University.

Happy Planning!

Clear Communication with Family

Getting caught up in the focus of how you want your wedding to be can unintentionally leave people who care about you and your wedding in the dust. Don’t let this happen to you and those you care about.

Real estate agent presenting contract to futur owners couple

Planning your wedding can be really exciting, and you can easily get caught up in the excitement, charging forward, and making plans for the wedding and not even realizing people who are close to you may also have had years of ideas, thoughts, and dreams involving your wedding.

It is a good idea to take a moment and consider their thoughts and ideas before you make significant commitments. Taking time to include others in the joy and excitement of the planning doesn’t mean you have to follow their suggestions, but it is respectful to listen to them and hear what their ideas are and why they may have had these dreams. It can be hard to realize that maybe your parents or your finance’s parents have been thinking of your wedding day longer than you have.

Bad girl arguing with her couple breakup concept

As a member of Wedding State University, we have a section that is totally dedicated to a family meeting where we help walk our members through communicating with families. In our family section, we suggest having a meeting with those who are involved with the wedding, this gives a great opportunity for everyone to share their ideas, hopes, and dreams.

Typically as with all generation gaps, it can be hard to understand each person’s perspective. Mom or grandma may never have heard of wearing a tuxedo with tennis shoes or playing games at the reception. In their day, these things may have been considered poor taste or even disrespectful. Try not to get offended by a negative comment from them. Just understand that they may not know how common these “new” ideas are. We suggest showing your Pinterest boards, Instagram, Youtube, and even magazine photos or even simple internet searches to show your ideas. After they see if they may change their mind.

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If they don’t come around as quickly as you had hoped, give it a little time. They may decide to do a little research on their own and find out they may end up embracing the idea. Don’t give up on the first try.

As with all relationships, open and honest, clear communication is always the best. Happy Planning!

If you need additional support join us today at Wedding State University.

Marketing Mastery for Wedding Professionals-Bridal Shows

If you are an industry professional who is not at a point in your business that you can pick and choose what clients you want to take, because you have so many people calling you to hire you or your company, then Bridal Shows are a definite “must”!

Young and successful business people

For over 30 years, I have had a love-hate relationship with Bridal Shows.  When I strike up a conversation with Industry insiders, most will say they hate having a booth at the shows. Honestly, I can agree with most of their comments. It is hard to put your best foot forward at a show and get quality time to connect with the hundreds or thousands of people that come by your booth in such a short period.

Imagine for a moment, there you are surrounded by your competition, if one person has a few more bells and whistles or is handing out a better type of candy than you, well, they get more attention.  So, every show is a battle for bigger and better, which of course translates to more money.  Who wants to spend more money to take a chance on the possibility of getting more clients, when there is also the possibility someone will just out “bell and whistle” you again?

So, why do I hate participating in Bridal Show? Imagine (almost) everyone passing your booth with the preconceived idea that your service is a waste of money and just too expensive. They automatically assume, because of your job title  you have an uppity, superior, know-it-all attitude. To top it all off they think that they can not only do your job themselves, they also think they can do it better. You have to remember our business is a little different than the norm.  It is seen as an unnecessity service and everyone “thinks” they can plan their wedding themselves, which is why they are at the Bridal Show in the first place. So, they are not interested in talking to a wedding planner, who by the way, they think is a total waste of money.  To limit their interest in our company, even more, we do not offer the only services they might be interested in, which is the ever so popular “Day of Wedding Coordination”.  We offer full-service wedding planning only. So,  spending an exorbitant amount of money on an amazing booth adorned with the long list of possible bells and whistles is and has proven for us to be a total waste of money. However, we continue to go and make a lovely display for our booth, because, for us, it is a necessary evil.

So, then why do I love them so much? That answer is simple!  I can get as much business from them as I want. We have relied on just 1-2 Bridal Shows per year to get a full year of bookings.  For our business, that meant booking an average of 30-35 weddings each year. If I wanted more, I could easily get more. I will share with you, as a business owner, it is a very secure feeling to know that I just need to attend 1 or 2 shows and get all the business I want.

I know you think that I  just contradicted myself.  I said couples who attend the shows are not interested in my services, but I can get all the business I want when we attend them. That is true. So, now you know my challenge.  How do I get them to change from not interested into booking?

I figured out how to do this at the beginning of my career.  When I started out, I didn’t know anything about marketing and what seemed even worse is, I didn’t have any money to market my business. It seems strange to say now, but back then, we didn’t even have the internet. I had no choice but to sink or swim with what little I had. So, I had to become very savvy in marketing.  I had to figure out how to beat out my competition and get the consumer’s attention enough to get them in front of me to hear what I had to say.

Through the years, I would try to vary the things in my marketing techniques to improve my stats.  As a single mom trying to raise three kids I just did not have much extra money to invest in my marketing efforts.  I had to rely on sheer creative marketing.  Back in the day, they called it Guerilla Marketing. Guerrilla Marketing is defined as unconventional, innovative, and low-cost marketing aiming at achieving the maximum exposure for a service or product.

It honestly took about ten years and 2o-some shows to perfect my system.  Instead of dreading the bridal shows, I started to look forward to them.  I couldn’t wait to try some of my newly conceived ideas and see if they worked.

I have a very successful multi-award wedding business developed with a ridiculously small marketing budget.  How ridiculous, you ask?  I rarely spend more than $1,500 at a Bridal Show that commonly results in booking an average of 35 weddings per year.  The beauty is I could easily slash that budget to $250.00 per show and get the same results.

For obvious reasons, (okay, not so obvious? It was because I didn’t want to educate our  competition.) I have never shared my secrets before.  I now am at a point in my career that, I can share the secrets with all our competition, and it will not affect our business.

Bridal Shows are still a great way for vendors to meet with prospective clients and maximize their marketing dollars.  I think every business owner who wants to expand their customer base or who simply just want to get more clients, should participate in a Bridal Show. The problem is that most business owners will take part in 1 Bridal Show, not book enough clients, and decide not go back. They most likely will not participate in another show, because they didn’t get the results they wanted. Frankly, I don’t believe there is any place you can get a bigger bang for your buck when you know how to implement the right marketing strategy. The problem with being unsuccessful at a well established Bridal Show isn’t because of the Bridal Show; it is simply because the vendor did not know how to market to the potential client.

Now that I have enjoyed over 30 years of success, I have focused my energy in a different direction.  My passion has always been education, and I have the flexibility in my career to focus my attention in that area. I have been blessed to be able to have the time to develop the comprehensive on-line Wedding Resource Site; Wedding State University. I  developed this site was for the sole purpose of improving the wedding industry as a whole.  My emphasis includes couples planning their wedding and professionals who assist them.

The Business Coaching portion of our program is to help service industry professionals navigate through building their business to achieve greater success. I understand the challenges that business owners will face in marketing. Don’t believe the lies you are reading about social media marketing. I will show you how you can focus your marketing efforts in just one area and get all the business you want.  I would love to teach you to learn how to get the most out of your next bridal show as well as any other hurdles you may be facing.

We are offering a 1 day Business Marketing Mastery Seminar to teach you the fundamentals of your success in Bridal Show Marketing. Space is limited so, follow this link to sign up today!

https://www.facebook.com/events/111216069322894/

We offer many Free Information Webinars to help you on your journey to success.  Visit www.weddingstateuniversity.com and click on the Business Coaching tab to learn more.

Setting Your Priorities

As you travel through your planning process, it is easy to forget what was important to you in the beginning of your planning. Refer back to this priority to keep your focus clear and stay on track.

Many couples go over budget and get out of control in their spending during the wedding planning process. However, if the couple stays focused and learns the proper way to plan, this can be avoided.

bigstock-Young-Couple-Saving-Money-6087764 (2).jpgIn the beginning, there may be several things that just don’t seem to be all that important, and they decide to give those items a small budget. However, later on when the couple begins to shop for these items, they can get caught up in the all the details and extras and get off track, resulting in overspending.

Let us take a look at an example of a common item couples go over budget on, invitations. At the start the couple may think, “We don’t need to spend a lot on invitations, people will just be throwing them away.”  Then once they begin the actual selection process, their feelings change, and they suddenly are viewing invitations as very important. They start adding nicer font, custom monograms, upgraded paper, ribbons, and jewels.  A $3.00 invitation has now turned into a $15.00 invitation and they can’t imagine going back to the original. To the couple, it might not seem like a big deal, just a few dollars. When you multiply it by all of the invitations that need to be mailed and add postage, they just went $1,200 over budget on a 100 person invite list.

Now if this can happen with something they thought was so unimportant to begin with, imagine what can happen with items are viewed as very important from the start.

To help stay on course, we have developed a priority list that can be filled out at the beginning of each planning phase and then it can be referred back to whenever you start to veer off track.

Download your free Priority list here: Priority List

Happy Planning!

Want to learn more about planning your wedding like a pro?  Join us today at www.WeddingStateUniversity.com

Wealth of Information Verse Truth

Learn the secrets to wedding planning the experts don’t want you to know.

Site #1

Top Planning Site’s Advice to Begin Your Wedding Planning:

  1. Start a wedding folder or binder.

    Begin leafing through bridal, lifestyle, fashion, gardening, design, and food magazines for inspiration.

  2. Work out your budget.

    Determine how much you have to spend, based on your families’ contributions and your own.

  3. Pick your wedding party.

    As soon as you’re engaged, people will start wondering who’s in.

  4. Start the guest list.

    Make a head count database to use throughout your planning process, with columns for contact info, RSVPs, gifts, and any other relevant information. (Want to keep costs low? It may be brutal, but the best way to do it is to reduce your guest list.)

  5. Hire a planner, if desired. A planner will have relationships with—and insights about—vendors.

  6. Reserve your date and venues.

    Decide whether to have separate locations for the ceremony and the reception, factoring in travel time between the two places.

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    Site #2

Envision your wedding and draw up a budget.

Assemble your “planning team.” Consider hiring a wedding consultant.

Pick a wedding date and time. Select several options, then check with your venues, officiant, and important guests before finalizing.

Start planning the guest list.

Look for and book ceremony sites and reception sites.

Ask friends and relatives to be in the wedding party.

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Site #3

  1. Make the announcement: Some couples just don’t feel right if anyone knows their big news before their parents and other close family members do. If possible, tell both sets of folks in person. If your parents don’t live nearby, put in a special phone call.
  2. Delve into dreams: Sit down with your fiancé and talk ideas. Think about the style you’d like, whether it’s a beach bash, a sit-down dinner in a ballroom or a ceremony on a mountaintop. No talk of money. Yet.
  3. Rough out the timing: While you don’t have to set a firm date now, it’s smart to have an idea of what month or season you want to marry in. Then you’ll know how long you have to get things organized. Because your wedding’s size determines where you’ll hold the party, how much it will cost (prices usually rise per guest) and whether travel will be involved, creating a guest list is one of the most important things to do. So make your list; your fiancé and both families should do the same. You can, and likely will, cut later, but this first number will be your base.
  4. Now talk money: It’s rare these days that the bride’s parents pick up the whole bill, so decide on your bottom line. Find out from both sets of parents if or how much they can contribute.
  5. Get organized: Buy a notebook and separate it into sections for each budget category. This way you can write down the amount you want to spend on the item and then note your expenditures. As you near your limits, you can start to figure out ways to cut costs.

Bad girl arguing with her couple breakup concept

I can tell you with over 30 years experience serving the wedding industry  that if anyone follows this advice, they will definitely get themselves into trouble.

I wanted to see what help was out there for people planning their wedding. So, I chose the top 3 sites I came to when conducting an internet search for “how to plan a wedding”.  I copied exactly what they posted in order of the top 5 or 6 things they suggest to do in planning your wedding.

Normally, I would give credit to a site I was copying the information from.  In this case I have decided not too do that.  I am not going to give credit to the site, because I actually appreciate their sites for a lot of tools they provide. However, their planning advice is in a large part of the problems couple face today.

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Often wedding planning sites are built by well-intentioned people who have not experience in planning weddings and provide information that they think sounds right, but it is not the correct information.  I am confident they think they are providing good information.  Typically, they borrow information from other resources and rewrite it to make more sense to the writer.  The biggest problem is, the information does not usually come from and experienced wedding planner.

You may ask yourself, why don’t they get information from an experienced Wedding Planner? That seems like a no-brainer, right?  Well if you think about it, why would a Wedding Planner want to give someone information about how to plan a wedding on their own? People hire a wedding planner to do the planning for them and many of them think if they tell everyone how to do it, then they won’t have anyone hire them.  So, they keep it secrets safe.  They allow everyone to keep struggling through their planning and getting stressed out.

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Young mixed couple sitting at home, browsing internet on laptop computer, smiling.

With this wealth of information out there, you would think planning should be a breeze, but to the contrary, couples now more than ever have more stress and trouble than they ever have.  Wedding Planning stress arises from many reasons and all of them have reasonable solutions.  At Wedding State University we want to blow the lid off of all these secrets and by becoming a member you will learn how to plan your wedding the correct way and learn all the secrets you need to plan your ultimate stress free wedding day.

To avoid stress and learn to plan your wedding your way visit our site: http://www.weddingstateuniversity.com

Wedding State University’s goal is to help as many people as possible to realize their dreams.

We are joining, the luxury skin care line, SK-II in their fight to help women begin to “Dream Again”.  When we are young, we are told we can do anything.  If that is true, what happened?  Many of us are living in a perpetual state of just trying to survive.  We don’t really enjoy our life.  We just do what it take to make it through the day, through the week, and then, through the year.  Years go by and we don’t even realize it. Then we start to believe, it is too late.

Every now and then we may remember we once had a dream but quickly realize, it is just too overwhelming to think about actually trying to make our dreams happen.

Last month, the world’s first Global Dreams Index Survey, by luxury skincare brand SK-II, uncovered alarming results – half the world’s female population have given up on their dreams. The survey of 5,400 women in 14 countries across six continents found that the barriers to pursuing childhood dreams were limited financial support, fear of going out of one’s comfort zone and not fitting traditional model of success.

At WSU we are so grateful that SK-II has taken the initiative to conduct this undoubtedly huge undertaking and provided us with the resources to look at how the world’s women have given up on their dreams.

Having the opportunity to witness others sadness in not realizing their dreams can help us look into our own lives and examine how we may have joined them in giving up our dreams too.

The purpose of Wedding State University  is to help people envision their dreams, give them the tools to hold on to, and recognize those dreams.

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Founder and Master Planner, Victoria Lewis, shares her thoughts with us about the “Dream Again” campaign and how it relates to Wedding State University’s mission.

“When I was 18, I quickly realized the circumstances surrounding my life meant it would be nearly impossible to achieve my goals. I had made some poor choices, and life had made some for me.  The obstacles in my path seemed overwhelming.  I spent many heartbreaking nights awake wondering how I would take care of myself and my family. I spent 30 years, fighting to make sure, even with the trials put in my path, I would do whatever I could to make my dreams and my children’s dreams come true.  It wasn’t easy, but it was possible.  To witness other people negatively affect someone’s dreams breaks my heart, and it has been a mission to do everything I can to help them hold on to and realize their dreams. That is one of the main reasons why my business has flourished for over 30 years and why we developed Wedding State University. It is important to us to help empower others to realize their dreams too.”

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If you want to realize your goals, weather you are planning your wedding or want to start a new career in the Wedding Business, WSU will provide you with the tools and guide you through the process to begin and keep you on the right path. We believe you can do it!

Become a member today and take control of your future and dare to dream again!

To learn more about the Dream Big campaign with SKY II  visit their site: http://www.sk-ii.com/luxury-skin-care-tips/kid-counselors.html

http://www.WeddingStateUniversity.com

 

Planning For Your Personality

Understanding your core personality can help you stay true to who you are during your wedding planning.

COPYRIGHT DC PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIOS

Staying true to yourself and your core personality will help you to stay focused on what is important to your wedding.

For this topic, there are four basic types of personalities I want to focus on.

The 1st is the personality type that cares most about sharing this day with family and friends. This couple is fortunate in a way that they understand the true essence of what a wedding celebration was meant to be. This couple will most likely choose a casual setting, comfort food, and focus on the reception and party.

The next personality type cares mostly about being in the spotlight. It is important that the guests ooh and ahh over how amazing everything is. This wedding will focus mainly on decor.

For our 3rd personality type, it is all about the party. The music and the alcohol are top priorities. As long as everyone has fun dancing the night away, that is all that matters.

Our 4th couple will seek a more private affair. The primary goal is that they are married and can share that with only those who mean the most to them. This sometimes means the wedding will be attended by witnesses only.

For the most part, a couple with both share the perspective of what is most important, but there will be cases where they will have to compromise or blend their views.

Understanding who you are as a couple will help keep you focused on what means most to you and will prevent overspending in areas that are not as important.