September 11, 2012 “Bride & Groom Panel” Educational Event
by Bethany Thomas, Commemory Fine Art
ABC-OC Communications Chair
If you were lucky enough to be able to attend last week’s ABC-OC educational meeting at the Wyndham Orange County, you know what a treat it was to be able to not only feast your eyes and tastebuds at the venue’s new Silver Trumpet restaurant and bar, but you were all ears as you heard the experiences and desires of four recently married couples about their wedding planning and wedding day. Don’t miss key takeaways the couples said and the night’s sponsors, below!
Skillfully moderated by Clint Hufft, here are some key takeaways:
- Vendor selection – Finding and coordinating vendors is much easier with a wedding coordinator because they have the skills, knowledge and the couple’s best interest at heart.
- The venue and photographer were top on the list to get first. Some had their hearts set on a venue but because of a disconnect with the people there, they went elsewhere. They chose based on the venue wanting to ‘wow’ them and help them visualize what their day will be like and where everything will take place.
- Have extraordinary customer service like having a florist that wanted to go 1.5 hours each way (to the venue in Fallbrook) to see the couple’s vision.
- Be interested in what the groom says/feels – great to feel included.
- Be organized.
- Communication – Vendors, please touch base here and there if your booked well in advance. Don’t wait until a week before the wedding to check in (don’t let the bride/couple call you first).
- Be responsive to emails – within that day.
- Key reasons for selecting their wedding coordinators are that they felt a personal connection with them like friends. Making their wedding dreams come true and ensuring them that they won’t have to worry were very important to them. Some coordinators come off too formal or too stricct of a process.
- Venues include day-of coordination but they didn’t realize what it didn’t include that they needed like ensuring the photographer took all the shots on their printed lisStuck Out?
- Having a personal touch and going out of their way to make them feel special.
- None of the vendors asked if they had a wedding coordinator.
- Sources – Found vendors on the venue’s preferred vendor list, Yelp, WeddingWire, The Knot, Ceremony magazine, Etsy (shoes, jewelry, cake/bakery). Some vendors were found via Google (read up to page 3). None looked at blogs.
- Bridal Shows – Went to 2. One at their venue. Everything in one place. Hired their photographer.
- Magazines (Ceremony) – Liked having physical mag to show vendor.
- Meeting Space – Meeting at a coffee shop or third-party location is fine especially if professional photos and information is provided.
- Videographer – Yes! So important to relive the experience through video. Time lapse of build up. Have watched the video at least 15 times in the first year. It doesn’t seem as important to have until after the wedding.
- DJ – The timing was everything, and it was perfect thanks to our DJ. It was my one responsibility at the wedding (the groom) and I felt like the wedding was perfect because of him.
- Ceremony – Suggesting unique ceremony ideas like having a prayer circle was so special and just for them.
- Lighting – They did have lighting provided by either the DJ or venue. Not coordinated well between the two though (would have if there was a coordinator!)
- Referrals – Getting referrals for vendors are appreciated – ask if they need help finding anyone.
- Having family be a part of the decision making process and feeling included.
- Having photos online (vendor’s websites) of vendor’s work from their selected venue was very meaningful for them to know the vendor knows the location, especially photographers.
- Not sure online reviews can be trusted. It depends on the source.
- Budget – Having a prioritized list of what was important to them. Then got quotes ‘from the best.’ Price shopped a bid, then made their decisions.
- Special touches – The florist and coordinators did a great job of making their wedding special. But nothing different outise the list was recommended.
- In looking back, they wish that the vendors all met or coordinated about their wedding prior to the day.
Phew! That’s a lot to take in but how valuable to hear.
Don’t forget to submit your work to be recognized by your peers to win a Trendsetter award. It’s easy and complimentary – just complete the entry form for each submission by November 11th.
Thank you sponsors for creating such a wonderful night for everyone –
Venue | Wyndham Orange County | www.wyndham.com/hotels/SNAOC/main.wnt
Photographer | Frenzel Photographers | www.frenzelphotographers.com
Entertainment | Tim Espinosa Entertainment www.theelectricviolinist.com
Moderator | Clint Hufft | www.reverendclint.com
Florist | Empora Flora | www.emporaflora.com
Stationery | Jen Simpson | www.jensimpsondesign.com
Linens | Designer Specialty Linens | www.designerspecialtylinens.com
Linens | Fusion Linens | www.fusionlinens.com
Coffee & Donuts | Brew Ha Ha | www.brewhahacatering.com
Entertainment & Lighting | As You Wish | www.asyouwish-events.com
Video | Plug Wedding Videos | www.plugvideo.com
Ceremony Arch | Happy Chuppah | www.happychuppah.com
Chiavari Chairs | Fusion Linens | www.fusionlinens.com
Chiavari Barstools | Classic Party Rentals | www.classicpartyrentals.com