WeddingLovely.com, our online planning and wedding website web app, is doing something a bit different in the world of weddings — we’re charging up front (starting at $14.99 per month) rather than creating revenue through advertisements. It’s always been my biggest pet peeve with wedding companies, where so many websites are chock full of advertisement and spam — we wanted to give our best, most useful, and unbiased advice and information about planning your wedding, without worrying about promoting advertisers!

This system also makes it easy for us to reward referrals, and I’m happy to announce the launch of our referral program today! Quite simply, if you sign up for a unique referral link:

  • Every person you refer receives a 33% off coupon to WeddingLovely.com
  • And you get 10% of what they paid. So if someone pays $79 in our pay once tier, you get $7.90. For our monthly subscriptions, you’ll receive 10% for every month for 12 months — up to $18 per referral!
  • If engaged and using WeddingLovely.com already, even better — if you refer 5 new accounts to us, we’ll refund your account, so you’ll get WeddingLovely for free as well!

If you haven’t used WeddingLovely.com and want to check it out before referring, just let me know at [email protected] and I can set you up with a test account for free.

Sign up for your unique link here and start sharing today!

Thanks to everyone for supporting WeddingLovely! We’re so excited.

-Tracy

Today we’re happy to announce a partnership with WedCoupon.com, and most importantly, a sale on our new wedding planning product at WeddingLovely.com!

For 14 days only, you can get 50% off our pay-once plan, formerly $119, now just $59!

You get all the awesome features of WeddingLovely:

  • Personalized wedding planning advice and tips to guide you through planning your wedding.
  • Checklist aligned to your wedding planning timeline, so you know what to do when (and what you can wait on!)
  • Access to over 1,500 vendors in the WeddingLovely network.
  • Wedding website to share with your family and friends.

All you need to do is head to WedCoupon.com and sign up and you’ll get access to our 50% off deal, and even better, new wedding deals every day!

Happy planning!

Welcome to our new monthly blog series: PR Tips 101 from Hello Cupcake! We introduced you to Stacy in an interview at the end of June and we were so excited about her new venture that we asked her to be a monthly contributor. This will be a wonderful series, we will all learn from Stacy!

Hello Cupcake PR 101

It’s no longer 2005.  At that time, when I graduated with a degree in public relations I felt armed to take on the world. Flash forward just a short seven years and you’ll regularly find me at the public library, checking out books that cover topics like online public relations, social media strategies or even, make money off your blog! Public relations in this day in age demands a dramatically different approach – one that was not yet conceived in 2005.

To stay current, YOU need to be flexible and YOU need to adapt to meet the current ways that information is being disseminated.

One of the best ways for people to gather information about your company, see your current work and learn more about your offerings is through a blog. In first starting out, it’s hard to stay motivated because you’ve not yet built up your readership. Here are a few tips to help you get found and get a following!

Learn how to grow your readership after the jump… Continue reading

The Spring 2012 WeddingLovely Lookbook is here!

Now updated to the Fall 2012 version!

 

View and download online for free and send it to any friends and family looking for wedding vendors or planning advice — or just pass it along just to promote the beautiful work of talented WeddingLovely vendors!

Some stats from this year:

  • 12 articles on wedding planning and advice written by WeddingLovely vendors.
  • Over 1000 vendors listed from all over the world — California to Singapore.
  • 204 pages of inspiration.
  • Featuring stationers, photographers, planners & coordinators, venues, and videographers (all the vendors currently in the WeddingLovely network — more verticals launching soon!)

New this year, we’ve put together 5 location specific vendor directories that are available in print for $17.95. If you buy now, MagCloud is running a sale for $15! These local Lookbooks contain all the same great articles as above, as well as listing the local vendors. Check out last fall’s printed version here, and buy this spring’s on MagCloud:

If you want to buy the ENTIRE Lookbook, we’ve added it to Magcloud for $49.95. If you buy soon, they’re running a sale for $39.40. Score!

Are you featured in the Lookbook? Show of your listing, article and/or ad with this beauteous badge:

WeddingLovely Lookbook Badge

We are THRILLED to release the Spring 2012 Lookbooks! Last year’s only contained invitations, so seeing this years grow to contain so many more vendors and wedding planning advice is so exciting. The next version will be printed in Fall 2012 and we’d love to make it even better than the Spring edition. We welcome any suggestions, requests, anything, in the comments!

Updated: June 2018

The structure of weddings have really stayed the same for decades now, but one of the biggest changes to come along with the internet (woohoo!) was the ability to build a website for your wedding!

Wedding websites (also known as wedsites) are great for collecting all the information that you can’t fit in your wedding invitations: registry information, hotels, directions, information about the couple, and now many wedding website builders support RSVPs online — no need to track down everyone’s RSVP by mail.

While you can choose to build your own wedding website from scratch, generally it’s easy to use a pre-built solution so you can get your wedding website up and running in about a day. Here are our top 5 wedding website generator recommendations, as well as a list of all the ones we’ve considered at the end.

Our favorite sites for creating a website for your wedding:

AppyCouple ($49 – $149 one-time payment)

appycouple.com

A really interesting alternative to having a wedding website is having a wedding app! Since most people use smartphones these days, AppyCouple helps you build a custom wedding app with all the information that you would need on your wedding website (and creates web versions as well, of course). Another plus — tons of great looking themes!


Joy (Free!)

A brand new wedding website builder just launched! We really like Joy‘s feature list — beyond the fact that it’s free (yay!), Joy comes with a ton of features like an app, RSVPs, photo support, and more.


Riley & Grey ($35/month or $240/year)

Riley & Grey is a gorgeous premium option for luxury weddings. While the most expensive option on this list, Riley & Grey has the most modern and glamorous wedding website templates and come with premium features included, like a custom domain and RSVP support.


Wedding Woo ($49/year or $69/two years)

WeddingWoo

WeddingWoo is a new addition to our list, after enthusiastic support in our comments (thanks commenters!) While the templates aren’t the most modern that we’ve found, there are plenty of beautiful options with a lot of great features, like Instagram hashtag and RSVP support. WeddingWoo also has one of the most comprehensive customization ability we’ve seen, which is great for making sure your wedding website looking completely unique for your wedding.


Wedding Window (Free – $14.95/mo – $79/yr)

The newest addition to our list, Wedding Window has improved leaps and bounds over the last few years. We love the modern looking templates that are responsive (meaning it works on computers as well as on your mobile phones — a must for your guests!) Wedding Window also has unique and original site designs.


 

Other wedding website options

There are quite a number of other wedding website generators to choose from other than the above. Other choices:

  • Bliss & Bone ($12/month, 7-day Free Trial) — Gorgeous looking modern templates with RSVP & Guest Management. Highly customizable.
  • Wix (Free) — A full website builder who has added a wedding option — free and seems to be easy to use. Flash options as well.
  • Nearlyweds ($14.99/mo or $99/yr) — Full featured with a lot of design options, though the designs are a little stale.
  • Squarespace ($12/month) — Squarespace has great tools to customize your website but no free option and lacking some wedding features that sites, dedicated to only weddings, would have.
  • eWedding (Free – $7/mo)
  • WeddingDonkey (Free, $10/mo, $15/mo)
  • ZankYou (Free)
  • WedBuddy ($13/month or $75/year)
  • The Knot (Free)
  • MyWedding (Free)
  • Minted (Free) (P.S Check out this blog WeddingLovely wrote on why Minted wedding websites are so awesome!)
  • WeddingJoJo (Free – $14.99/mo)

Are we missing any awesome options? Have you used any of these and have a review? We’d love to hear it and add your thoughts to the post! 

Note: Some links are affiliate links, meaning WeddingLovely earns revenue for the links. This had no basis in our top five site decisions — affiliates were only added after our favorites were determined. The revenue from the affiliate links helps support WeddingLovely and keeps this blog running. Thanks for your support!

We have some exciting news to share with our Portland area brides, COMMITTED! is back!  Luxe Event Productions cannot wait to host this rad wedding event for another year!  They’ve  lined up a new location that allows for more incredible exhibitors and really showcases the unique Portland style. Check out this great video from Black Label Films highlighting last year’s event.

Get the details for this Luxe event after the jump . . .

Continue reading

Michelle, a talented stationer from Little Toad, put together today’s post for us. She put a lot of time into this post and we thank her! I am sure you will too, because she did a fabulous job putting together the wedding trends for 2012. Thanks Michelle!

We are already far into the New Year and no doubt by now you have broken your resolutions and vowed never to give up chocolate cake as a breakfast item again. Aside from those New Year changes one of the biggest changes occurs in the wedding industry, the hottest new trends. From what colors are hot and what patterns are so last season to which reoccurring themes you probably be seeing if you are attending or planning a wedding. So what are the newest trends of 2012? Well I have searched the internet, bridal magazines and lost many a days on Pinterest, to highlight the top 12 trends of 2012.

He Saw SparksHe Saw Sparks on Etsy

{Patterns}
1.  CHEVRON

It may sound like a stop to get your oil changed but instead it’s a very simplistic yet classic geometric pattern. This pattern looks good in a variety of colors or is just as strong in black and white. It can be incorporated into your wedding in a multitude of designs and mediums (paper and/or fabric). The other great aspect of this pattern is that it can be used as an accent but isn’t overpowering as a dominant element.

See the full post after the jump . . .

Continue reading

Today’s guest post comes to us from Robert London Wedding Photography. Such great advice, thanks for sharing, Robert. :)

When your wedding day comes, it will be so overwhelming that your memory of the day may be a bit unfocused. The beautiful flowers you chose, the gorgeous dress (that you agonized over), the venue and table settings, all your friends dancing, even your hairstyle is a moment that you created and wish to cherish. Unfortunately it is just one day and it goes by so fast. This is why the photographer will be the one hire you make that is so important, not only will they be with you a good deal of time on this most important day but they are the ones who shall capture all those details that you have been thinking about for the past six months or more!

Robert London Photography WeddingPhotoLove

To make sure you achieve more than just pretty pictures I have created a list to help you weed through all the marketing garbage and mediocre photographers that may lose those memories – follow this guide so that all your memories will last forever.

1. First thing, do a little research, and become familiar with the different styles of wedding photography.

No two photographers would come out with the same images, but wedding photography broadly breaks down to three types, traditional or classic and photojournalistic (everyone was traditional 20 years ago). A traditional photographer is someone who is very involved in the day, producing mostly posed shots and will spend time arranging both people and details to look a certain way. A classic, or “balanced” photographer is one who combines aspects of both. The last type is photo journalistic, think of them as reality TV photographers they will document what happens seldom or never asking you to pose. So as you are looking through friend’s albums or magazines think of these styles, decide which you prefer and start looking for photographers who can fulfill that need, also if you hire someone with a balanced approach you should tell them which style you prefer.

2. At least have a general idea of your budget.

Pricing can vary considerable, and you do not want to waste your time with someone who is not within your reach. On the other side if the price is too good to be true, it is most likely someone who is not a real professional and you would be taking a big chance. I have a golden rule about this “cost is something that can usually be negotiated, quality cannot.”

 

3. Now you have lots of knowledge but how do you find the right person?

The first place to start is friends. They have already gone down this road and they might recommend their photographer or give you the name of the person they should have hired. If you do a search on the internet PLEASE go past the first page and more, the first page will be filled with larger firms with big marketing dollars behind them. Vendors can also be a good resource but be warned the venue’s preferred list is a source of advertising revenue for them and usually nothing more. A great source to find the perfect photographer is WeddingPhotoLove!

Robert London Photography WeddingPhotoLove

4. Narrow your choices down from the different websites but remember you are not hiring a web designer so do not go with someone just because you love their website.

Quality is sometimes hard to define in qualitative terms, but look for the story behind each image, one photo should make you want to see another. Finally make sure the essence of each wedding is coming through, that the photographer’s style is not overwhelming.

5. References are important and it is not a bad idea to call them but be warned the photographer is only providing the good ones.

Be ready with specific questions to ask, not just do you recommend them, one effective question I like is “did your guests like him and did he handle your family’s request well?” But, references are only one piece of the puzzle in the web 2.0 world we have today, now we have reviews on wedding websites and local vendor sites such as Yelp or Google Places. Also just search for the name, you will surprised what will come up good and bad.

6. Make sure they are not just a “weekend warrior” you want a professional photographer, someone who is doing this as their sole living.

Photography in this digital world is constantly changing, and you need someone who is dedicated to keeping themselves informed of the latest technologies and capabilities, this will ensure that you not only receive the best quality but also the most choices of products and services.

7. This is very important, ask the photographer do you shoot jpeg or raw?

If they say film move on,  if they are not willing to meet the learning curve, then what else are they not learning? To make sure they shoot in the raw format ask that you receive a copy of all the final raw files (put it in the contract). On the topic of files, are the jpegs and proofs watermarked or do you receive full size files ready to print? Many studios charge significantly extra for the raw files and/or non watermarked jpegs.

Editors note: Most photographers don’t give RAW files out since they’re unedited and can often look drastically different (and less professional) than the finished files. We don’t want to change our guest article, but keep in mind that releasing RAW files is rare and in most cases, it’s not necessary to get the originals, since you want the beautiful, finished images instead.

Robert London Photography WeddingPhotoLove

8. Ask to view samples of complete weddings and ask questions about that wedding.

Many studios substitute wedding images for staffs who are beginning, also this way you will get a feel for how they handle the stress of a complete day. I have also seen photographers who can create a wonderful “glamor” shot of the bride, one that is ready for a magazine but the rest of the wedding is very poor – just because you are a good photographer does not make one a good wedding photographer.

9. What is in the package?

You want no surprises, and you want to confirm that the packages are equal when comparing from one photographer to another. I mentioned the files earlier, but other concerns are how many hours of coverage, if you are having a large wedding you may need two photographers, how many proofs do you receive, will all the images be given to me and how, on a DVD, flashcard, downloadable, how long until I receive the images? Do not forget the album! A subject on its own which I discuss here: How to Create a Wedding Album but make sure they have available what you want, there are so many options these days and quality varies GREATLY.

10. And finally, we have talked about the packages, quality, and price now what is most important is the relationship you feel with the photographer.

Remember, a photographer who frames everything perfectly, makes sure everyone is in focus, and gets every shot on your list may seem like a great photographer–however, if no one likes him/her that will show in the pictures. Even the most unobtrusive photographer still has a significant presence at your wedding; make sure that person is a guest you would invite.
I hope this list has been informative and will give you confidence in your choice of wedding photography, I discuss this subject in greater depth along with other related wedding articles on my website Robert London Photography

Robert London Photography WeddingPhotoLoveThank you Robert! You can check his profile out on WeddingPhotoLove!