Friday, April 30, 2010

Mad Men/1960s Themed Wedding

I am one of the many addicted to Mad Men. I want to look like Joan and have a crazy, hot affair with Don. That's completely inappropriate to say on my own wedding blog. I know. And Matt has been forewarned! We have actually discussed a Mad Men themed wedding. So, imagine my surprise when The Wedding Chicks brought me EXACTLY the inspiration I needed: a customizable, Mad Men themed save the date. Too fabulous!

Without further ado, here is our Mad Men themed wedding inspiration board. Enjoy!

Save the Dates
From Blogger Pictures

The Dress

From wedding

This beautiful Justin Alexander gown was one of the first I tried on. And safe to post since I didn't by it, even though I loved it! Too fab for words.

The Guys

From Blogger Pictures

 How HOT would Matt & his groomsman be? Yum!

The Bridesmaids
From Blogger Pictures


From Blogger Pictures

Serve  extra dry martinis

From Blogger Pictures

and Old Fashioneds
From Blogger Pictures

I could use my milk glass collection and some of the I could use my milk glass collection and some of the vintage wine glasses I have from my great grandparents.  And serve deviled eggs, anything wrapped in puffed pastry, celery with cream cheese and, Matt's favorite, pickle rolls!  Everything served with toothpicks, of course! Love, love love!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Check out this giveaway!

Mint Green with Envy has an awesome giveaway today! Go to her blog and enter to win any item under $50 from Iroshka. She has some beautiful purses that I would love to carry or give to my bridesmaids for my wedding day. So cute!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Great Venue Debate

We have an appointment to officially join our church and schedule our wedding date - woohoo!  We decided months ago to join a church together, but didn't anticipate the hoops we'd have to jump through to join the one we liked best. We're joining St. John the Baptist, a Catholic church in the Italian Village neighborhood just north of downtown Columbus. The church is beautiful, recently renovated and several of my family members were married there.

So now that we are finally booking the church, we have to make a decision about the reception. If you had asked me a week ago, I would have been 99% sure we'd be going with LaScala. The food is good, the space is modern and fun. Minimal decor would be needed to make it a lovely reception. There's an onsite planner and she's ready and willing to set up everything I send her way. The prices are very reasonable, but even still, we'd save LOADS of money if we went with the YWCA ballroom and Caterers Three.  Also, we'd be able to invite more people - like 50 more people. It's a steal, but it would also mean a very plain reception hall and spending the day before or morning of my wedding setting everything up. I think I'm ok with that, but who knows how many times I'll go back and forth about it.

What are your thoughts? Do we choose the nicer-looking, all-inclusive place and invite 50 less guests? Or should we give the YWCA a shot and risk some day-of stress in exchange for a bigger party and a lower price tag?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

There's a lot to be said for follow-up.

The bridal industry is fierce. When I started the wedding planning process it quickly became evident that this $90+ billion industry is not easy to navigate. It takes time, research, internet savvy and the ability to detach yourself from your emotions and make logical decisions. I've been shocked by sticker prices and frustrated as I attempt to seek out deals and true quality in an overwhelming marketplace. It seems that everyone who knows how to point and shoot a camera considers themselves a wedding photographer, anyone who has ever been to a wedding, a planner, and anyone who can bake a cake from scratch, capable of 6 tiers and elaborate icing. I've found that true quality and experience is usually expensive, which can be frustrating for a bride on a budget. In a desperate attempt to maintain my high standards within a modest budget, I've turned to vendors trying to break into the business for things like photography, flowers and invitation design. These talented people are often willing to cut deals and go the extra mile to make you happy and add another wedding to their portfolio or recommendation list. If you fall into the "breaking into the biz" category, listen up! This advice is for you.

Of the many vendors I have dealt with in the past few months, there has been one huge difference between them: those that follow-up in a timely, friendly manner and those that do not.

I am writing about this in the hope that some of you will take it to heart (should you read my little blog!). Your ability to respond to email, voicemail, facebook messages, etc. quickly and effectively is key to winning me over as a customer. I am planning one of the most important events of my life, and whether or not I am a raging bridezilla or a laid-back planner, I want to know that you are reachable, that I am a priority and you will listen to what I say.

If I contact you for a quote or information, I want to hear back in a timely manner.
I am a professional. I work in an office where phone calls are returned by my colleagues in a quick, professional manner, especially if there's a potential for profit. I expect the same from you. I am baffled by vendors who take weeks to respond to emails. If you don't check your email account daily, don't list it. And you SHOULD check your email account daily.

Whether or not there is a question to be answered, an acknowledgment that you received my email and appreciate my business is required. If I say that yes, I want to hire you but I am waiting on exact dates, a simple THANK YOU and some evidence of excitement to be working for me on my wedding would be nice. Yes, I need to get back to you on dates, but it's much less likely that I will if I don't have any indication from you that our wedding is important.

If I meet with you, follow up with an email or phone call.
I am actually shocked by the number of times this has NOT happened in the past 3 months, with both established and newer vendors. After I have an initial visit with you to discuss pricing, availability and vision, I expect a follow-up phone call or email within a few days. This can be thanking me for my time, checking if I have any questions, asking what my thoughts are or if there's anything else I need to make my decision. It's not hard and it's a basic sales technique that let's me know my business is important. Don't be pushy, but be attentive.

It's not complicated. Good communication is a transferable skill and any future job, or bride, or spouse for that matter, will appreciate it.And when you do it well, it will win your customers. I am much more likely to hire the person who has called me back within hours of my request over the on who takes days, even if it means coughing up extra money. The stress of waiting and wondering is not worth it, not on my wedding day and probably not ever.