The time of the year is approaching when family and friends come together to celebrate two people beginning a new and very important chapter in their lives. Wedding season! I myself am actually in process of planning my own wedding, which will be taking place in May. I did the majority of my planning over a course of 9 months, and most of it was done with the help of social media.  The first thing I did after calling my friends and family to share the exciting news was post about it on Facebook. I changed my relationship status and waited for the comments to pour in. Not only was Facebook a great way to share the news with all of my friends and family quickly, it was also beneficial with planning the big day.

Choosing the right team of vendors for your special event is so important, and social media makes it easy to see the vendors work and the recommendations of people who have hired them previously for their own weddings. I have noticed that most vendors update their social media pages very frequently, so it is easy to see their most current work. While looking for photographers, I noticed that many use blogs, Twitter and Facebook to showcase the work they have done in the past, which is great to see before you even contact them to set up an appointment.

Other than using Facebook as a resource of planning, I found WeddingWire and The Knot to be excellent sources of planning and organizing details.  Many brides like to create a page on Facebook or use one of the wedding planning websites to create their very own website about their wedding. It is a great way for the people who are invited to see where the couple is registered, the location of the ceremony and reception, the details of the event and post any comments they would like to share about the couple. And it allows the bride and groom to interact with everyone before the wedding invitations even go out.

Another useful new social media resource when planning is Pinterest. It is sort of like going through wedding magazines to cut out pictures of ideas that you like, instead you do it digitally. You can find images that appeal to you and wedding design tips and keep them in one place to get a feel of what your wedding is going to look like. Friends and family can also comment on your ideas.

In my opinion, the key to planning a successful wedding is to be organized and use social media as a key source with planning. By using social media to gather information on vendors, get some ideas for designing and using it as a tool for organizing and interacting, wedding planning will be a breeze.

Below are my 5 tips when planning a wedding on the social web.

1. Create a budget. You will first need to sit down and decide how much you plan to spend on the entire wedding, including your venue, each vendor, invitations, a wedding consultant, the cake, favors, centerpieces, ect. Then you prioritize your list and divide your budget accordingly. I used an Excel spreadsheet to create my budget, but you could also use wedding planning websites that have budget planners to help you organize and calculate.

2. Search for venues and vendors. Decide the location for your big day and the time of the year you would like to have it. I found it useful to look for venues through wedding planning websites and then searching for them on Facebook and Twitter to see their pages. Finding vendors may take much more time then searching for venues. I found many of my vendors through my Twitter and Facebook newsfeeds. By following pages catered to wedding planning, I was able to get some great information about many local vendors through Facebook and Twitter posts.

3. Attend bridal shows. Search the internet to get a listing of local bridal shows around the area that you wish to have your wedding. You can sign up to receive email alerts or view calendars about upcoming shows. Bridal shows are an excellent way to meet vendors and gather information about their services, taste catered food, win prizes and enjoy a show hosted by a DJ and the venue. They are also a great way to enjoy a night out with your soon to be husband or wife.

4. Create and manage your guest list. What’s a wedding without your guests? An important part of any event is the people who are attending. Find out the minimum and maximum amount of guests that your venue can hold and decide on an approximate amount of people that you would like to invite. Then make your list of family, friends, coworkers, ect. I also used an Excel spreadsheet to manage my guest list. It was great to use for making labels with mail merging and keeping track of who will be attending and who has declined.

5. Take one step at a time. At times, wedding planning can feel overwhelming, especially when you have other important things to manage in your life. Divide the planning up over a few months; you don’t have to do everything at once. Divide some of the planning between you, your significant other and close family members involved with the wedding. Even if you feel like you can do it all on your own, it is always good to get second opinions or guidance from important people in your life. You can always hire a wedding consultant to help take some of that weight off your shoulders.

Are you a business owner working in the wedding industry?

As the bride and groom are searching for all of those businesses that offer wedding services, those same businesses are looking for brides and grooms out there and want to connect with them to be a part of their special day. If you are one of those businesses, how do you get the bride and groom to notice you and the wonderful services you have to offer that separate you from the rest?

Here are my 5 tips for businesses offering any kind of wedding service.

1. Maintain your website and social media pages.  The internet is a main source for brides and grooms when they are planning their wedding. When they find your business, they will want to take a look at your website and your social media pages to see all that you have to offer. They will want to see the latest work you have done so make sure that everything is up to date. Establish connections with other wedding businesses, as well as newly engaged couples through your social media pages.

2. Sign up for shows and expos. Find out when bridal shows and expos are in each town that you wish to do business in and sign up. Make sure you put a lot of effort in making your booth look spectacular and show all that you have to offer. Having a booth at a bridal show is an excellent way to meet potential customers face to face and also have them spread the word about your company.

3. Advertise. Advertise your business on wedding planning websites and through social media. You can also advertise through wedding magazines and local publications.

4. Get a mailing list. Request a mailing list of newly engaged couples and send them emails about your wedding services. Find a list that caters to the primary locations of the brides and grooms you wish to get in touch which.

5. Become a preferred vendor. Learn how to become a preferred vendor with local wedding venues. Many venues have preferred vendor catalogs or lists and they essentially sell space in those catalogs or lists to vendors.

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Jennifer Smiga
Jennifer founded inBLOOM Communications to help brands bloom in a digital world. inBLOOM’s team of writers, designers, publicists and marketing specialists excel at converting followers to customers. inBLOOM’s clients benefit from Jennifer’s experience in donor relations, marketing, public relations and event production.

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