Following up on my last post of what I’d like to see more of from wedding vendors, here’s who I thought was doing it well.
Chef Jack’s (http://www.chefjacks.com/flashindex.html#/?section=Event%20Locations): This is a caterer in Milwaukee that has better pictures & descriptions of many Milwaukee venues than the venues do. It’s a great place to start when, like me, you have no idea what venue you want. I did not use them for catering, but their website was super helpful.
The Bartolotta Catering Company (http://bartolottacatering.com/pier/): This was the exclusive caterer at my venue, and this website was most helpful to me for the floorplans and photos, since we had different options of areas within the venue for the ceremony & reception. The photos were helpful because I love seeing how other couples chose to lay out and decorate the same venue. My venue coordinator, Julie, was also so responsive to all my questions, either by email or phone, and secured my confidence in her skills & organization. Thanks to her service, I didn’t have to hire a wedding planner.
m three studio (http://mthreestudio.com/): This is one of the photographers we considered. She had the style we were looking for, a very fun website with video transitions, and a blog I still enjoy reading months after our wedding. She writes romantic stories about each of her couples, and her personality shines through her posts.
Valo Photography (http://www.valophotography.com/index_new.php): These are the photographers we chose for our wedding. The company is a team of two guys, and each has his own blog to show his style. The one challenge I have to note is that it seems their business is a little more focused on senior pictures (which they rock at) than weddings. When we were waiting to hear back about our wedding DVDs and albums, we were frustrated seeing constant blog posts about senior pictures. However, their wedding posts prior to our event made us excited to have them shoot our event. We chose them based on our in-person meeting (we met with our 3 favorites) and after watching them in action at a friend’s wedding, but it was their online information, portfolios and blogs that got them on our favorites list in the first place.
We had a hard time researching florists, and have to admit we went with a woman who came very highly recommended but has no website. I had more luck going to websites of high-end florists who specialized in individual arrangements rather than events for good inspiration photos to bring to my florist meetings.
freshdesign flowers (http://freshdesignflowers.com/portfolio2) was one of my favorites in the process. Their website is clean, modern, and easy-to-use.
The City Bride Blog (http://thecitybrideblog.com/): I believe I found this blog through another local vendor, and although it hasn’t been updated lately, it was one of my favorites. It has friendly, down-to-earth advice, and when I was really struggling to find an officiant, I emailed the author, Meghan, for advice and recommendations and she happily and promptly helped, although I wasn’t a client. So yes, she didn’t receive business from me, but she would be at the top of my list of planners for a friend to contact.
Keep in mind that even if you’re not getting business with each new client contact, you are building your brand. There are photographers I researched and did not choose for my wedding, but still have in mind for future pictures with my husband, or possibly future family photos. Maybe you weren’t the right florist or event planner for my wedding, but if you impressed me, I’ll remember you in the future for an anniversary party, corporate party, or other event. If you weren’t right for me, but had a good business, I will recommend you to friends when they ask.