Thanksgiving
photo credit: Martin Cathrae

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our American readers! I’m currently in Canada visiting my boyfriend’s family (who celebrate Thanksgiving in October, so I’m missing it doubly-so). I usually head up to my cabin in the mountains at this time for Thanksgiving with my friends and I am a bit sad about not having it this year. If you’re celebrating, eat plenty of turkey, stuffing, and pie for me!

I also wanted to blog a bit about things I’m thankful for. Sometimes I forget how amazingly lucky I am.

First, I am very thankful for my blogging assistant, Jessica. Jessica is an invitation vendor (check out Odd Duck Press) and has been working with the WeddingLovely Blog for quite a few months now: organizing, posting, and sharing our posts. I literally would not be able to do my job without her. Thank you Jessica!

Second, I’m thankful for WeddingLovely — that I was able to build something that people love. That this job (that I love) supports me. I’m thankful for all of our blog readers, for all of our visitors to our planning application and our vendor directories. I was able to work while traveling in Europe for the last three months — how amazing is that?

Third, I’m thankful for you, dear readers. WeddingLovely wouldn’t exist without you. Thank you so much for supporting us.

Have a wonderful week — blogging will resume next Monday!

Cheers,

-Tracy

Pricing added to the WeddingLovely Vendor Guide

Engaged couples all know that finding vendors can be a tricky process (hey, that’s why we’re in the business!) We just launched a new feature to make a part of the process simpler — service vendors can now add approximate prices to their WeddingLovely vendor profiles.

For engaged couples, this means getting more up-front information about a vendor before taking the time to reach out. Emailing back and forth to find out that a vendor is higher than your price range can be a huge pain. Now you can know a vendor is approximately in your price range before getting a specific quote.

For service vendors (like photographers, planners, officiants, and others), adding your approximate prices will make sure that you’re spending the time with couples that match your price range. Vendors can receive more targeted leads, and spend less time explaining prices by having a baseline price upfront.

This is an optional feature for our service vendors, since we know that some would prefer to keep our current system of $, $$, and $$$. But for those that want to add their basic pricing, we have two options to add — base prices and add-on prices.

Build a quote on the WeddingLovely Vendor Guide

Base prices are like a package that couples can choose only one when configuring an approximate quote. Vendors can also add multiple add-on prices (for extras like adding extra shooting hours to a wedding), which couples can choose multiple on the configure quote page. Couples can then submit the approximate quote to the vendor and then get the actual price for their situation.

We’re working on a calendaring feature for vendors so prices can update per season — look for it in early to mid-2014. For vendors who have products (dresses, invitations, favors, etc), we’ll be launching a pricing system for you too soon!

Hope you enjoy our new feature!

Cheers,

-Tracy, founder

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For my day job, I run everything WeddingLovely, but my background is a web designer and developer and I am available immediately for a few more freelance side projects!

I’ve already written up a longer post about my experience, check it out here.

One of the things I’ve been specializing on lately has been taking design comps (PSDs and whatnot) and building them into WordPress so you can update the content without dealing with code — perfect for the designer without any “tech” experience. I also work very quickly: a 5 page static website takes just a couple weeks and possibly less. Other than that, I also do web and graphic design too!

If you’re interested in some freelance work, email me at [email protected]. :)

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Image from our WeddingLovely Shindig last year!

I’ve been a solo operation for awhile — running seven different websites (and soon to be seven, shh!): WeddingLovely.com, as well as the five separate WeddingLovely directoriesand setting up and running this blog here, blogging 1-3 times weekly. Phew.

While I love working with vendors on features and running awesome posts from our guest editors, I’m really a designer and developer first, and I’m hoping to get back to working full time on building new awesome features for all of WeddingLovely’s properties — new directories, a WordPress plugin, new features, wedding website designs for WeddingLovely.com, and more.

SO — I’m hiring a part-time blog assistant!

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Over the last few months I’ve been working on a major update to WeddingLovely’s directories (currently WeddingInviteLove, WeddingPlannerLove, WeddingPhotoLove, WeddingVenueLove, and WeddingVideoLove). Essentially, there has been a ton of behind the scenes work to make everything way more efficient, and I finally finished up the last piece. Of course, I decided to celebrate that by launching it with some major design and feature updates as well!

All screenshots taken from WeddingInviteLove but they apply to the rest of our directories too!

New Profile Page Design

Seen at the top! The entire site designs got a facelift, but the profile page got a complete overhaul. It’s cleaner, easier to read, classier, and faster. The profile page is the most important part for our vendors — they’re amazing, so the profile page should be too! Lots of additional design tweaks to the vendor contact page, the vendor’s edit page, and more as well.

 

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Vendor Recommendations

My long-term goal for the WeddingLovely vendor directories is to promote the best people in the business. The best way for me to find out who those people are is by vendor recommendations — vendors recommending others that they know, love, and recommend as a great company. If you’re working with a stationer, it’s incredibly valuable to know what planners, photographers, etc. that they recommend — because they work with them over and over for events, and have a ton of experience. Obviously this is a bit limited since we only have our current five directories, but that’ll be changing ASAP. ;)

I’m also prepping for a customer review overhaul — stay tuned!

 

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Better Search Pages

Now you can narrow down the vendor results in the search pages more easily without reloading. This also allows me to add even more filtering options, which’ll be coming soon!

 

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Pinterest Link for Upgraded Accounts

One of those head-smackers I can’t believe I didn’t do before. Along with adding their Facebook and Twitter accounts, upgraded accounts can now link out to their Pinterest account as well!

There are a lot more little things that have been tweaked and made better, but these are my major updates. Like mentioned before, this is the last piece in a really big puzzle I’ve been working on for the last few months behind the scenes, so new features, updates, and directories will be coming a lot more quickly now!

What do you think? Take a poke around our directories and let me know what you like or think still needs a bit more work!

WeddingInviteLove for stationers, WeddingPlannerLove for planners, WeddingPhotoLove for photographers, WeddingVenueLove for venues, and WeddingVideoLove for videographers.

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Horribly unflattering photo of yours truly working on the Fall WeddingLovely Lookbook!

If you’re a small business owner, you know the work day isn’t just Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm. I’ve gotten into a good routine lately with my schedule, but it’s a little odd, and I thought it would be fun to share it with you so you get an insight into how I spend my day! Also: this generally applies to six days per week, with one day which’ll be lazier than the rest or I have some event going on.

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photo by ccpixel
photo by ccpixel on flickr

love guest contributor posts, especially written by vendors — they’re the experts! I’m often asked for sample topics to write about, so today I took some time to write down every topic I could imagine (and I’m probably missing a ton still).

If you’re interested in writing for the WeddingLovely Blog and don’t have a topic in mind, check out this list for suggestions!

Now that we’re all officially setting into the new year (last week didn’t count if you were like me and scrambling to get back into the scheme of things after the holidays), I’ve been taking a fond look back over how much the WeddingLovely Blog grew over the last twelve months. We’ve had some showstopping articles posted over the last year — here’s our top five articles from 2012 in terms of traffic!

Top Five Wedding Website Builders

I reviewed many, many wedding website solutions and posted my favorites. The winner? WeddingJojo.com, though I have to admit I’m partial to our (now-launched) wedding website solution at WeddingLovely.com now! ;)


See the rest of the top posts after the jump!

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2012 was an amazing year at WeddingLovely. As the founder, WeddingLovely is pretty much my child, and nothing makes me happier than seeing it grow. I’ve compiled some great stats about 2012:

I’m so excited about 2013! One of the biggest things done behind the scenes was a major update to how our directories run, so new features and new directories can launch faster! Sneak peek of new features planned for this month alone:

WeddingLovely is a one-woman project, and I plan on keeping busy—running this blog, launching new features, and helping vendors and brides/grooms. Stay tuned for more posts about the best posts on the blog in 2012 this week!

I’m so excited about 2013!

Love to all,
-Tracy

Photo credit: Photo from Christmas day near my cabin in the Sierras. It was a beautiful trip!