cocktail hour

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

How to save money while planning your special day!

 

Are you getting married in one of the most expensive locations in the US?  If you are an LJ bride then most likely your answer will be yes.  Here is a list we have created here at the office that can provide you with some extra cash after your wedding day for things like an amazing honeymoon, house, or a baby!

1. Learn how to negotiate with vendors:  Never fear asking if thats the best the vendor can do, price wise.  Ask them for their opinion on how to save money on their packages.  Most likely, the vendor will work with you and give you options within your budget.

2. Centerpieces:  Over 75% of the weddings we have attended the centerpieces are these large ornate bouquets that scream TOO expensive.  Ask your florist for smaller options, cheaper flowers, and other centerpiece options that require less flowers.  Another tip: think outside of the box and look for other centerpiece ideas such as candelabras, birdcages, wine bottles, feathers, or more.  

3. Favors:  When is the last time you left a party with the favor and said, Oh, my word I really needed another corkscrew or useless doodad that will end up collecting dust.  Another way to thank your guests is by making a donation on their behalf to an organization that hits close to home such as Kicking 4 Celiac, American Heart Association, and/or American Cancer Society.

4. Limousines:  The last thing you need is 3 different limos driving to the same exact place.  Our suggestion is to get a party bus which has room for up to 50 people, food, and more alcohol.  They come equip with more head room as well so your bridal party will not have to crouch down and get all wrinkled before their grand entrance at the reception. You can also add some character to your wedding and rent a school bus for approximately $200-300 for the day!

5. Seat Covers:  Honestly, who even remembers that you had seat covers?  Remember people sit on them so it is one of the last details any guest will rave about.  Most of the time they end up annoying your guests because they just fall apart and end up on the floor by the end of the night.

6. Photography & Videography:  My fiance and I did our own little survey of our married friends to decide whether or not we needed a videographer.  Our conclusion was that they only watch their video once its completed and it ends up right along with all their other movies collecting dust on a shelf.  So with that being said, you can skip the video and hire a quality photographer who is skilled in the art of photojournalism.  They will capture great candids that will last a lifetime and speak wonders.  Another hint, do not have your photographer make a photo album which can add up to $600 to the bill.  They will provide you with a dvd of all your proofs and at some point you can either make your own album or online slideshow.

7.  Food:  One way to save on food is by lengthening your cocktail hour.   You can have a never-ending cocktail hour which provides your guests with passed Hors D’oeuvres for a few hours.  Another option is to have the buffet option where there is no sit down dinner but a buffet with more options.  Also, skip all the add ons that will increase your per person price by $5-20.

8. Rehearsal Dinner:  Who said that the rehearsal dinner had to be a mini version of your wedding day?  Instead of the same old sit down dinner in a fancy restaurant, have a luau in your yard, a backyard bbq, or even a pizza party! Get creative and think outside of the box for this one.  This is another chance for your bridal party to mingle making the wedding day that much more intimate.

Do you have any ideas that we may have missed?  Leave us a comment below, on facebook, or via twitter! 

If you need entertainment for your special day please give us a call and speak with one of our event specialists today! (973.751.8850)  Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook , or repin us on Pinterest!

<3 Mariza

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