Wedding Industry Insider Podcast

WII 137 – How to Use Data to Drive Growth with Shauna Smith

You’re putting a lot of energy into marketing your business and delivering an amazing service for couples. But how do you know if your efforts are resonating the way you want them to? 

Wedding planning is an emotionally driven career, requiring lots of creativity and passion. That often means pros miss out on an essential part of building success: data analytics

If analyzing data feels like a huge, impossible task, then this episode of Wedding Industry Insider Podcast is for you. We’re joined by Shauna Smith, Director of Business-to-Business Marketing for The Knot Worldwide, and she’s sharing fantastic advice for using data to scale and grow your wedding planning business. 

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Wedding Industry Insider Podcast

WII 095: Jordan Kentris Explains How to Mine the Data for Your Ideal Client Personas

To get the best results for your business, you need to make sure you’re talking to the right person. That is to say, your ideal customer. To do that, you need to know your client personas, which today’s guest is here to talk about.

Jordan Kentris is the founder and owner of A Good Day, a boutique design firm providing hand-crafted wedding invitations and stationery. A UX designer by trade, he also helps business owners develop their branding through research, logo design, audits, and additional branded elements.

Recently, BizBash recognized him as one of the Most Innovative People in 2020. Jordan was also a finalist for the NACE One Awards for 2020 Industry Innovator of the Year.  

In this episode, Jordan talks about how to get the most out of working with a stationer as well as what he recognizes as the attributes of successful planners. Specifically, he breaks down why it is imperative to know your ideal client and how you can evaluate or further develop your current client personas.

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Wedding Industry Insider Podcast

WII 093: Randi Bushell Gives You the 3D Way to Make Faster Design Decisions

In event design, each decision matters and every decision has so many variables.

That’s why today’s guest shares the tech tool that helps you accurately create and customize your event vision

So, just hit play to hear the full details!

Randi Bushell is the Founder and CEO of Merri, a 3D visualization platform made for event planning. With a background in retail and E-Commerce, Randi started Merri after planning her own wedding and finding it difficult to capture her design vision with 2D renderings. Now, she continues to revolutionize event planning with Merri’s all-in-one software solution for visualizing, designing, and booking events.  

In this episode, Randi explains how Merri gives you the tools you need in order to easily create and share customized, 3D event designs with your clients.

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Wedding Industry Biz

Apps Your Wedding Planning Business Needed Yesterday


The number of applications and tools out in today’s market is staggering. All of them carry the intention to make things easier, but often are overlooked due to the amount of time it takes to incorporate them into your business. In fact, incorporating apps into your business is more important than ever. A 2015 study by The Knot revealed that 89% of couples used their smartphones for wedding planning. This included “researching and contacting wedding vendors, or creating and managing a wedding registry or personal wedding website.”
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Wedding Industry Biz

2017 Wedding Trend Forecast

By Meghan Ely, OFD Consulting

With the 2016 wedding season in the books, it’s time to start thinking about what trends are ahead for 2017. As the great Heidi Klum says, “One day you’re in, and the next day you’re out.” With that, let’s take a look at what we can expect for the upcoming year.

Guest Experience

More and more, couples are striving to give their guests an experience that’s unique and will be unforgettable. “Today’s couples are exploring more ways to engage their guests,” shares Fabrice Orlando, owner of Cocoon Events Management Group. “We’re seeing interactive food stations and on site ice breakers gain in popularity.”

[courtesy of weddingsonline]

New Technologies

With millennials making up approximately 90 percent of engaged couples, it’s easy to guess that many are using technology to elevate the guest experience as well. It not only gives guests instant satisfaction to see their posts and pictures online instantly, but is also making things like hotel reservations, transportation, etc. a lot easier- especially, for destination weddings. Megan Velez of Destination Weddings Travel Group explains, “We’re seeing a marked increased in the number of couples integrating technology into their wedding day-from customized Snapchat geofilters and 3D printed elements to livestreaming the event itself.”

[courtesy of pinterest]

The New Traditional

We will continue to see customized weddings that reflect the to-be-weds’ personalities and relationship reign supreme over the more traditional cookie-cutter style. Every couple has their own set of traditions and favorite things they want to celebrate, from unique ceremonies performed by a friend rather than a traditional officiant to quirky DIY paper flower bouquets instead of real blooms – the possibilities are endless! Kim Sayatovic of Belladeux Event Design says, “Getting married in a non-traditional venue is very popular right now. People want to be unique and tie the knot at properties not typically known for weddings.

[courtesy of interiorator]

Food Centric

The evolution of food at weddings is astonishing when thinking about where the industry was 10 or 15 years ago. Guests now attend weddings expecting to be blown away by the food, and couples are definitely delivering. This trend ties into both guest experience and the new traditional, with funky fusion menus that capture the couple’s favorite cuisines and interactive food stations that engage couples in the food experience. “Late night snacks have gone from a fun surprise to a ‘can’t live without’ that guests expect, while additional courses that elevate a menu beyond a simple soup or salad are also becoming the norm,” shares Kevin Dennis, owner of Fantasy Sound Event Services.

[courtesy of carats & cake]
Elevated Decor

Engaged couples are taking note from luxury events and elevating their own design to enhance not only their vision, but also the guests’ experience. New trends are popping up all over the place so much so that no two weddings look alike anymore, which is something couples are loving. From metallics like silver to inspiration from the far East, 2017 is bidding farewell to blush tones and saying hello to bold choices. “Color is finally back,” explains Nahid Farhoud, owner of Nahid’s Global Events. “This is in contrast to the last few seasons where all-white weddings were more prevalent. We’re also seeing more hanging botanicals as well as lighting patterns.”

[courtesy of]
Gearing up for the next wedding season is always an exciting time, and we can’t wait to see what else 2017 will bring.

Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast.

Wedding Industry Biz

2016 Lighting and Event Trends

By Kevin Dennis, Fantasy Sound Event Services

From Pinterest to wedding blogs and magazines, trends reign supreme in the events industry. Couples are always looking for inspiration for what’s new and fresh, but wedding professionals should be up-to-date as well. For this reason, it’s essential to stay on top of what’s ‘in’ and what’s ‘out’ in order to anticipate and prepare for your client’s needs.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the biggest trends in 2016.

Dana Todd Photography
Dana Todd Photography

Going Green
With every year that goes by, couples are increasingly motivated to reduce their environmental footprint and with good reason. Luckily, that’s a much easier feat these days with easy access to LED lights, recyclable décor and locally sourced food and beverages.

Precious Metals
Metallic hues are at their prime this year, with unique shades like rose gold and gunmetal in the spotlight. Gold and copper are still ever-present, but there has been a decline in silver accents. Couples are also incorporating anything that sparkles into their wedding celebration. Prepare for much more shimmer to come!

Tyler Vu Photography
Tyler Vu Photography

Hanging Lighting
Wedding lighting is a major aspect of the event design – it does, of course, illuminate all of your other gorgeous décor! Couples are embracing hanging lighting in their weddings – from Edison bulbs to chandeliers, there’s nothing quite as breathtaking as a beautifully lit space. Not to mention, hanging lighting is great for adding an intimate, romantic ambience to the venue!

Prints and Patterns
The sky is the limit when it comes to incorporating prints and patterns into an event design. Geometric shapes are huge, with angles making an impact. Floral prints and plaid are also in, giving 2016 weddings a bold vibe. On the other hand, past pattern trends like chevron are becoming outdated and are on their way out of the industry.

Danny Dong Photography

Back to Basics
The push for rustic continues as couples are bringing in even more natural elements to their celebrations. This year’s weddings are seeing pieces that are au natural, like wood, slate, stone and agate. Indeed, Mother Nature is the ultimate inspiration!

Keep your eye out for up-and-coming trends, as they’ll often predict the style of events that you’ll be planning in months to come, and it is certainly worth building your expertise. Your clients will surely be grateful for your knowledge!

 Kevin Dennis is the owner of Fantasy Sound Event Services, a full-service event company based in Livermore, California. Dennis is the current chapter president for Silicon Valley NACE, and the immediate past national president for WIPA.