This guest blog was written by Parker Radbourne, of The PK Photographs, a wedding photographer in San Antonio. He’s had a camera in his hand since middle school, and loves the winters, and even summers, of Texas since relocating there a few years ago. His obsession with weddings started with his first out-of-high-school job at a wedding retail shop that sold / rented everything wedding except for the dress, the ring, and the cake. A detail orientated photographer, he’s picked up on a few small and easily remedied situations that frequently pop up on the wedding day, and has put together a blog post for us on that topic!
A Less Stressed Bride
When your wedding day is finally here and the preparation, planning and hours with a glue gun are finally behind you, it’s time to enjoy your hard work. Yet, the big day can still be a bit overwhelming with everyone coming up to you with questions on where this goes, who is taking care of that, and what time so-and-so will be arriving, it can be a lot to handle. You’ve likely delegated a lot of tasks out to members of your bridal party in getting ready for your big day, but what about on the day itself? The more that can be taken off of your plate, the smoother and easier they day will be for you. I mean, it is YOUR wedding day. We have a few tips to help with this.
1. Have Someone in Charge of Snacks and Water
You won’t even think about eating until you smell the food at your reception, but fainting isn’t fun, either. Have them bring granola bars, bottled water, and other snacks for the bridal party and family to keep everyone full of energy and strength. Don’t forget about napkins or wipes, so nothing gets dirty!
2. Have one of your Bridesmaids be the Bustle Expert
Have a bridesmaid or two with you when you learn how to get your dress bustled at the store, and have her record a video of it and practice doing it herself, so it goes smoothly on your wedding day.
3.Give a Copy of the Timeline for the day to the Most P unctual P erson on Your Team
If you don’t have a day-of coordinator or planner, make sure you give a copy of the timeline for the day to the most punctual person on your team. This is vital to keep everyone on time while getting ready, the ceremony, and formal portraits. Usually, the DJ or emcee will help run the reception events on time.
4.Give Learning Tasks to Groomsmen
Task one groomsman with learning how to tie bow ties, and another with learning how to fold pocket squares, (hint, the squares can be folded before the wedding day). As a wedding photographer I have diagrams on my phone showing how to fold a pocket square, tie a bow tie, tie a straight tie, and how to pin on a boutonnière. At almost every single wedding I end up texting these to a groomsman!
5.Let the Guys know Who Gets Flowers
Make sure one groomsman, or the groom himself, knows what different corsages and boutonnieres will be arriving, and which goes to whom, (hint, some florist's will label each one for you, this is a huge help).
6.Have Someone in Charge of Clean Up
Task one groomsman and one bridesmaid with keeping an eye on the cleanliness of the rooms while getting ready. Have them try to keep everything, (bags, purses, shoes, clothes, etc.), in one corner of the room so when your photographer and videographer arrive they can start capturing the moments then and there, and aren’t spending 10 minutes cleaning up the room so it is ready to be photographed.
7. Give the Formal Photo List to Someone in Your Bridal Party
Make sure a member of your bridal party who knows both families best has a copy of the shot list for formal portraits, and has made time to reach out to everyone on that shot list so they know to hang around after the ceremony. Too many times someone has to run and find Uncle Joe who was excited to eat, drink, and dance, and is already on his way to the reception hall. We don’t want to exclude him from these once-in-a-lifetime portraits, but we also don’t want you to be late to your reception. This member of your bridal party can also help the photographer expedite the formal portraits by having the next group ready to jump in as the previous group finishes.
Don’t forget the most important task of all: to have fun and help you celebrate your marriage! Make some memories with these very special people on your wedding day, and don’t forget to thank them for all of the time, energy, and support they’ve given you!
Thank you for the blog Parker Radbourne! Take a look at his photography here,
Business Tips from Owner of HKelly Designs and The Fashion Stop
HKelly designs was born while, I was healing from my first bout with breast cancer. As we were working on our first official line, I was once again hit with a second bout with breast cancer. Breast cancer did not and will not defeat me, instead it pushed me farther than I ever thought I could go. I’ve learned to Live Life Now and dreams don’t happen sitting on your butt watching TV, you have to go out and get it.
If you don’t know how and don’t want to, hire someone! There are lots of social media gurus out there. Just ask a friend, they probably know someone in the biz or ask on Facebook, lol! For proof Facebook works, check out your Facebook feed, I’m sure there is someone asking advice about some product, service or place to vacation, eat or get their nails done!
Guest blog by Rachel Strabley
When it comes to dressing for a photoshoot there are no definitive dress rules to follow as it is more about feeling right in your look, yet here are some thoughts to keep in mind when choosing your outfit.
1. What is my goal?
2. Am I being me?
Wearing a style that you have never worn before will not make you feel great which will show in your photographs. Such as wearing tailored clothing when your style has always been rocker chic will not provide the best outcome. Yet wearing a style that you know looks great and is your personality will give you confidence and that will be conveyed in the final photo’s. Always be true to yourself!
3. Am I comfortable?
4. Am I complimenting my complexion?
Do not stay completely in your comfort zone when it comes to deciding what to wear, you want to make the most of this photo shoot after all. Yet always choose colors that compliment your skin tone and hair color and make you stand out from the image in the background.
5. Color is key.
Even If you are opting for black and white photographs it is still important to wear color as this will add depth, contrast and harmony to the end result.
6. Get the right second opinion.
Rachel is a personal stylist to residents in Fairfield and Westchester Counties, she has been dabbling in the industry for many many years before making it official two years ago. She does complete makeovers and wardrobe consultations, personal shopping for her busy clients as well as online consultations when clients need a specific outfit for an event.
Guest Blog by Sharon Dickinson of An Affair to Remember
Well, you’ve been dreaming about this day, since you were young! The love of your life has asked you to be their husband or wife, and you’ve said yes! Now what? Here is a list of 10 things to do, after accepting your partners proposal.
1. Tell your parents
Allow them to have the honor of finding out that you have become engaged and be ready to celebrate! You might even consider letting the family you don’t see or talk to all the time know too!
2. Call your closest friends
Make sure you call your closest friends, so they find out the great news from you, not from Facebook! This is one of those things that should be done personally!
3. Decide on how many guests
Take a look at your friends and family and get an approximate idea of how many guests. The amount of guests is important when thinking about save the dates. This Information is important to a wedding planner as well, so they are able to refer you to the best locations suited to handle your affair.
4. Set your budget
Decide on how much you will have to dedicate to your wedding and also if anyone else will be contributing, such as parents, grandparents, etc. You will need a realistic budget so that you and a planner (if used) can determine what services fit your budget. This will also give you time to start saving for each of your services. The worst thing you can do is plan a wedding for $30K and when it comes time to pay the bills find out you don’t have the funds and end up having to take out a loan to pay it off.
5. Set the date
The main question you will be asked is “Congratulations, when is the date?” If you set the date right away you’ll already have an answer to the most often asked question. You also need to know the date when looking into where you will hold your ceremony and reception and finding availability of other wedding vendors.
6. Save the date
Guest blog by Simona Ksoll.
You have created an amazing product/service that you are really proud of and now it is time to get it out there in the world. The question is how can you get it in front of the right people so they can purchase it? This is where your marketing comes in.
Are you ready to have some fun? This is the exciting part, where you get to be really creative coming up with ideas how to get the word out about what it is you do.
Here are the 5 key ingredients to ensure your success:
1) KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
Before you do anything, you have to be absolutely clear about WHO are your people? What are their pain points, frustrations, obstacles or what is their occasion? The next question to ask yourself is HOW does my product or service provide a SOLUTION for this?
I highly recommend you do some target market interviews with your prospects to find out about the above and if what you provide resonates with them. This will give you the added benefit of finding out about additional pain points that you had not previously thought about.
2) WHAT ARE THE STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OF YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE?
Ask yourself what makes your product/service really stand out compared to others. Chances are you are not alone in your field. What is it that you do differently or better? What are the things that differentiate it from others?
You also have to get really clear on your weaknesses. An example if you are selling retail products and your store does not have convenient parking that is a weakness. Now think about how you can overcome this. What makes up for it? Maybe it is that the quality of your product is that great that your customers don’t mind looking for parking?
3) HIGHLIGHT YOUR KEY SELLING POINTS
Now that you are really clear on the strengths and weaknesses of your product/service, it is time to highlight and organize your key selling points. Those are the main hooks that you want your prospects to know about. Why should they buy from you? What is the benefit to them?
4) CRAFTING YOUR MESSAGE
Next it is time to craft your marketing message and this is where the fun part really begins because you get to be CREATIVE and can infuse your message with your personality.
This is a great time to go back to your target market interviews. Check and see what words and phrases did your prospects use? This is important because you do want to speak to them in a language they can understand. What you are going for is the “OMG, you are reading my mind!” moment.
Keep it simple, don’t overthink it. Use short, concise sentences that highlight your key selling points and always speak to your audience as if it were ONE person sitting across from you and you are having a friendly chat.
5) GETTING YOUR MESSAGE IN FRONT OF YOUR AUDIENCE
This is the final step, your communication strategy. Get clear on WHERE your audience hangs out and plan out how often and in what ways you intend to reach them.
Are they online? If so which platforms are they most likely to use and how can you tap into this? If you have done your target market research, this should have come up.
Because there are a flurry of social media platforms out there, my recommendation is to pick the top 2 for starters and create a content calendar, so you know what to post when and where. It really does make things easier than sitting in front of your computer screen every day wondering what to post.
Can you complement that by also meeting them in their inbox? Get clear about how many mailers or newsletters are you sending out and what are the topics you will be covering?
Are you inviting them to a special training call or webinar where you can educate about your product/service?
Alternatively if you have a brick and mortar business, are you distributing flyers or advertising in the local papers? Are you doing community outreach through sponsorships or speaking at networking events?
Your communication strategy really depends on what type of field you are in.
So how do you keep track of all of this without getting overwhelmed with the many moving pieces of your campaign? This is where your marketing timeline comes in. Break it down week by week. What are you doing when and how does it tie into your ultimate goal of selling your product/service?
An easy way to keep track of this is a whiteboard, where you break out your weekly activities so you always know exactly where you are at and where you are going. This is how I like to do it. (If you are more of a digital person, you might want to use an online calendar to create the road map for your campaign.)
Get these 5 things right and you are good to go, meaning your marketing campaign is going to be a surefire success!