Thursday, March 26, 2009

Children in Weddings

Children in weddings cute especially if you are a guest. For the bride or mother of the bride...not so much. Even if they are your own. Why? because they are the one aspect TOTALY out of your control. They may or may NOT walk down the aisle on que. They probably at some point will melt down and there is a pretty darn good chance that at some point they will spill something. Hopefully it won't be before the ceremony, on you or on themselves but you can count on the fact that your little flower girl or ring bearer will step out of line at least once during the day. If that's a problem for you then you may want to reconsider their involvement.

Kids are naturally unpredictable. They say crazy things in loud voices at inopportune times. They like messy things and are naturally clumsy. It's all part of the growing up process. You can't blame's just who they are and how mother nature made them. They are eager to explore and experince the world and have a really hard time with those impluses that make them guzzle (and dribble) the grape drink or roll down the grassy knoll just before they sprinkle flowers or carry the ring pillow down the aisle.

So all I am saying is, you've seen great photos, really CUTE photos of kids in weddings and no doubt your photographer can capture some great shots of your flower girl & ring bearer but you need to know the whole truth and decide if this is really what you want. Because if it's not, it's better to know now or be prepared!

If you do decide to have little kids participate in your wedding there are many things you can do to help make everything go smoothly. First feed them! Kids nibble. They don't eat big meals. And depending on what was going on at their mothers house you have no idea their state when they arrive so bring a basket filled with snacks and water bottles for your little people.(Warning! Avoid messy snacks!) and this is the one time where over packing might be ok. You may also want to have a few little toys or surprises to keep them occupied while they wait. A bored kid is a miserable kid and if they are unhappy chances are you'll know it! Next have a contingency plan! They could get really freaked out when everyone turns to look at them when it's their turn to go down the aisle. Have someone they trust to help them out or have a plan in case they absolutely refuse.

Finally be patient and understand that stuff happens and sometimes it's the stuff that makes the cutest pictures and the best memories so don't freak out!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Advertising in the new economy

Love is one of the few things that are unaffected by bad economic times. Sure a tighter wallet will certainly stress any relationship but love can also see you through the bad times make you stronger and more focused than you ever thought you could be. So regardless of an economic downturn marriages are still a relatively steady occurrence. For those of us in the Wedding Industry that's a very good thing!

The trick for the Mom and Pop wedding businesses who don't have pockets as deep as the large franchisees that can weather a storm longer is to be smart about marketing their business. Now is the time to re-evaluate every penny spent on advertising. Competition is steep! Who gives you the best bang for your dollar? There are benefits to every advertising medium. TV and radio have a strong impact on an immediate sale but with Tivo and DVR's TV advertising is expensive and risky. Radio advertising is now being affected by IPod and Mp3's. If you choose this route the best time to get your message across is during a scheduled broadcast or popular show that targets an audience you are trying to reach. Newspapers have lost so much of their readership that you have to question really how effective those ads will be at all. Although expensive, Magazine's are still extremely popular and well trusted by their readers. Studies show that people who read magazines make time to spend reading it. They read it cover to cover and generally hang on to it for longer periods of time and go back and reference it frequently. Ezine's are another form of magazines (and generally more affordable) that are really getting stronger and that is tied to the popularity of PDA's. With a Palm Treo, Blackberry, I-Phone or any other PDA you have the ability to get the answers you want right then. Go back to your ezine (or search to see if your favorite publication has an ezine!)and read it in a waiting room, in the carpool line, in stop and go traffic (god help us all!) or at your lunch or coffee break. PDA's put the web at your fingertips 24/7 no matter where you are making web advertising an absolute MUST for every business. Just remember if you have a web ad or any ad you need to have a web site. A website is your #1, absolute, gotta-have-it-no-matter-what part of your advertising and marketing budget. So start there. Make sure your website is up to date, attractive and has clear info. It doesn't have to cost a fortune but it does represent your business so make sure it's attractive and gets your message out there. From there determine your remaining budget. Web advertising is affordable and when placed in the right location can be extremely effective. If you have the budget for print advertising research magazines. Choose one that really goes after your targeted audience and offers more than just ad placement. Find out how your business can be woven into the publication through images, editorials, sponsorships and giveaways, etc... any magazine worth it's weight will happily get you involved in their publication. The Bride's Book magazine looks for ways to incorporate our advertisers throughout our website and magazine. We encourage our advertisers to communicate ideas, participate through images, sponsorship and editorial input. We go out of our way to showcase our loyal businesses and give our readers unique ideas and hippest trends from the leading providers. It's about relationship building with our readers and our advertisers which is why we are an award winning publication with a large and growing readership.