Monthly Archives: January 2013

Vendor Review Sites: The Full Picture

When you’re looking to buy something, what’s one of the first things you do? Aside from comparing prices, more than likely you read reviews online about it. Online reviews have become one of the most powerful word-of-mouth marketing platforms of today. Doubting all the buzz? Take a look at these results published in a recent survey:

  • 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
  • 58% of consumers trust a business which has positive online reviews
  • 52% of consumers said that positive online reviews make them more likely to use a local business

The cool thing about online reviews is that they are available for almost anything! If there isn’t a specific site providing online reviews for something, chances are there is some sort of forum or discussion board that may provide the insight you’re looking for.

When planning your event-whether it’s a wedding, religious celebration, birthday or anniversary party-it’s a great idea to research reviews of your prospective vendors. However, there is a proper way to dissect reviews so that you can get the full picture. Take into account the following tips to ensure you don’t wrongfully hire, or dismiss, a vendor.

1. Quantity. When you’re trying to get to know a vendor via online reviews, it’s best to gather as much information as possible. Read as many reviews as you can to get an overall scope of people’s experiences with the vendor. This will help you create a collective understanding of their overall performance. If you see a 1 star review in an ocean of 10 star reviews, chances are the majority’s experience will be yours as well.

2. Quality. What may be more important than the number of reviews you read about a particular vendor, is the quality of the reviews. Taking the writer’s tone into account let’s you decide whether or not their review is valid. For instance, if the review is entirely emotional-expressing only opinions and not facts- it may not be the best source for information. Reviews that mention points like punctuality, friendliness, enthusiasm, quality of equipment, attentiveness, and other relevant information, will be your best resources.

3. Go to the Source. No matter how many reviews you read and how deeply you read them, you might still be left with unanswered questions. At this point it would be best to reach out to the vendor themselves. Asking them about a negative review allows the vendor to explain their perspective on the matter. And don’t be afraid to prepare a list of concerns-if they’re a vendor worthy of your business, they’ll be happy to address all of your points of interest.

4. Pay it Forward. Once you’ve worked with a vendor for your event, it’s a great idea to review them online. You’ll be helping other people choose which vendor to hire, just like the reviews you read helped you decide who to use. Writing online reviews also gives you the opportunity to rate your vendors publicly. If you’re happy with their service, do them a favor and share your experience. If you were dissatisfied with their service, provide specific details as to why you were left unhappy. Either way, create a review that you would appreciate reading and that gives the reader the full picture.

Post by Izabella De Souza

Photo Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Choosing a Wedding Planner Based on Your Needs

You know what they say, a girl’s wedding day is “the most important day of her life.” Although planning a wedding may be the happiest, most exciting time in a bride’s life, it can also be quite hectic, stressful, and overwhelming. There are so many tiny, intricate details that go into planning your special day, which is why many couples decide to hire a wedding planner – someone who assists you in every aspect of your day. But what if your budget isn’t large enough for a wedding planner? Or what if there’s only one aspect of your wedding you’d like extra help with? An easy solution is to hire a wedding specialist – someone who assists you with one specific aspect of your day. Whether it’s the cocktail hour, the décor, the food, or particular vendors, there’s a wedding specialist out there ready to help! Check out some of the components these specialists control to make your life easier and less stressful while planning your wedding.

1. Cocktail Hour. The cocktail hour of your reception is, in other words, the “happy hour” of your wedding where your guests mingle and enjoy themselves. It’s the beginning of your wedding reception and we’re sure you’d love to start it off right-and most importantly-make it stand out. Some of the things your cocktail hour specialist can do includes creating a signature cocktail drink for your guests or arranging comfortable, chic seating for relaxation. They can also draft a menu of delicious appetizers for your guests to have at their leisure or build a playlist of music to set a distinct mood. They can even help you add personalized details such as monogrammed napkins.

2. Décor. Decorating for your special day may be one of the most stressful aspects to your wedding because it involves so many details. We know you’d love to have your guests blown away with your wedding’s décor, and having a décor specialist takes that stress off your shoulders, and has the ability to transform any venue from bland to beautiful. These specialists assist you with your color scheme, flower services, balloon services, backdrops, drapery, lighting, centerpieces, table settings, chair and table coverings, and every minor detail in between to make your wedding unique and one of a kind.

3. Food. Whether you and your partner are interested in a sit-down or a buffet-style dinner for your wedding, the food at your reception affects everyone. Wow your guests with the ultimate feast and a fine dining experience with the help of a wedding caterer. They have the responsibility of designing the meals depending on the time of your wedding and on your guests, incorporating food trends such as cupcakes instead of a wedding cake, selecting main dishes and desserts, and may even choose linens and plates for each table.

4. Vendor Selection. The most stressful part of wedding planning is hiring the right vendors. Be it florists, entertainment, or limos, you want to make sure you hire the right people for your special day. And if you don’t know anyone that personally owns a limo, you might be in the dark as to which is the right company to hire among so many choices. Wedding planners often have developed business relationships with several wedding professionals that they can recommend. Because the reputation of the planner is as much at stake as the vendor, they are sure to only recommend vendors they trust. If you trust your planner, you can trust their vendors.

 

Post By: Izabella De Souza

Photo Sources:

1, 2, 3, 4

5 Tips to Managing Your Wedding Planning Stress

It’s the day you’ve dreamt of all your life, your wedding day. The dress, the rings, the food, the reception, and many other details have been a running slideshow in your mind for as long as you can remember. Finally the fairytale is coming to life. Unfortunately, making your dream day into reality can sometimes turn into a nightmare.  Dealing with pre-wedding stresses can take a toll on your mental and physical health.

We’re here to alleviate some of that stress. To help you cope, we’ve researched stress management tips for engaged couples and gathered the most recommended ones right here in one place. Hopefully they can get you back on the path to loving the experience of planning the day of your dreams.

 

1. Focus On What Is Really ImportantEasy to say, not so easy to do. But when things really start to get hectic, take a moment to remember why you’re doing all this in the first place. You’ve found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. You two are about to build a life together and start a family. And whether you’re having a wedding or not, you’re still on the way to happily ever after with your significant other; that’s what is really important.

 

2. Decide On A Clear Vision For Your Wedding. Part of what makes weddings so difficult to plan is the many options involved. Spend time researching ideas and budgets. This way, when it’s time to pay for what you want, you aren’t so conflicted with choices. Indecisiveness can lead to procrastination, which is guaranteed to create more stress. One of the best ways to help you decide details for your wedding is to create a wedding vision board. By putting pictures of all your inspirations in one place, you allow your mind to see exactly what you want. Give this a try for any event you may be organizing!

3. Expect Stress, Not Perfection. No matter how organized you may be, stress is likely to be a component of the wedding planning process. Many details are in the hands of others, which means you’ll need to check-in frequently to make sure things are running smoothly. And that’s OK. It’s unrealistic to expect nothing to go wrong; after all, perfection is unattainable. What may go wrong now, will be what you two laugh about later on. In the end, your family and friends coming together to watch you marry your best friend is as close to perfection as you can get. The rest is just details. (Sappy, but true.)

4. Do As Much As You Can, Together. In the grand tradition of wedding planning, brides tend to take charge. This may add unnecessary stress to the already chaotic process. By sharing the responsibilities you and your partner are able to relax more, knowing the other one has some things under control.  It’s also a great feeling to know that once your special day arrives, it will be something the both of you have worked hard to create.

5. Enjoy This Moment and Pamper Yourself! You heard right, pamper yourself! It may sound selfish, but it’s actually effective. The idea kills two birds with one stone; you reduce your stress and savor the moment. The stress reducing benefits are obvious in pampering yourself. But many people forget how important it is to enjoy this moment in your life. The relaxation that comes from a little self-indulgence may remind you how joyous this time should be. Being engaged is special. You’re not just dating but you’re also not yet married. It’s a unique transitional period in a couple’s life that should be celebrated. So go ahead and treat yourself to endless manis and pedis, a few massages and quality time with your significant other. All of this can alleviate your stress and make you happier about the wedding planning process!

 

Post By: Izabella De Souza

Photo Sources: 1, 2, 3

First Dance Songs Made for You!

One of the highlights to any wedding is the first dance. The bride and groom’s first dance fills the air with love and illustrates the story of their relationship. So, if you were to describe your relationship in a song, what melody would you sing? Are you a caring and romantic, quirky and fun, or a traditional and classic pair? There are a plethora of aspects to explore when choosing the song for your first dance, and we’re here to help narrow down the choices! Check out some options for your first dance and see which category you and your partner fall into.

Romantic. Are you and your partner in total adoration with each other, and want everyone to know it? Nothing is greater than two hopeless romantics on their wedding day, and the wedding song should display that perfectly. Here are some options for lovebirds that are interested in a sweet and touching first dance.

  1. A Thousand Years – Christina Perri
  2. Marry Me – Train
  3. Make You Feel My Love – Adele
  4. So Close – Jon McLaughlin

Fun. Of course you are in love, but do you want to go beyond that and show your relationship’s fun side in a song? What better way to start your wedding by showing all of your guests you and your partner’s fun, upbeat personalities? If your goal is to have a light-hearted yet loving first dance, check out these options below.

  1. Better Together – Jack Johnson
  2. Crazy Little Thing Called Love – Michael Buble
  3. Is This Love – Bob Marley
  4. Dream A Little Dream Of Me – The Mamas & Papas

Classic. You know what they say, oldies are goodies! The best part about having a timeless song for your first dance is that they are powerful – not to mention everyone in the room will most likely already be familiar with it. You simply cannot go wrong with a classic love song. They effortlessly fit into any wedding along with most couples’ personality and taste. If you and your partner are looking for a song that will please you and your guests, these classics will not disappoint!

  1. For Once in My Life – Michael Buble
  2. At Last – Etta James
  3. Have I Told You Lately – Rod Stewart
  4. Something – The Beatles

Keep in mind, the best song to choose for your first dance should be the one most meaningful to both you and your partner; and you may not always find that on any list.  If you already have a song that you have branded “Our Song,” that would be the one to choose. Remember, it’s your day. So what if your guests have never heard of the indie artist you guys have seen at countless shows; or even if your song is as goofy as doing the chicken dance while wearing a tutu. This is a song that has helped bring your and your fiancé to this very day. While you are dancing together, staring into each others’ eyes and seeing your future with this person, it helps to have the right soundtrack to go with your vision. In the end, that’s the only song that matters.

 

Post By: Izabella De Souza

Photo Sources: 1, 2, 3

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