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February 14, 2007

Contest: Mindy Weiss Planner

Every night, after work, but before Primetime, I blog...I reach into my little bag of goodies, finding the most innovative and unique ideas that people are doing, and I write. And, much to my delight, brides are reading it! Everyday more and more people check out my blog and it is actually starting to take on a life of it's own. I love that.

And yet, I have no idea who those readers are. What they want, what they love. So today, is you're day. I really want this blog to be a place where brides (and grooms) can chat, give ideas, discuss dilemmas and obsess over their own wedding style. It only happens once (or twice?), so you should revel in all of your self indulgent thoughts! Pretty soon, it will all be over, the white dress tucked neatly in the closet, the pictures put away in your favorite photo album...take full advantage of this time, ladies. Time really does...fly.

Mindy_weiss_4 So, for all of you quiet readers out there, I ask you this...what are you lacking in other wedding websites? What do you want to read when you come to this site each day?  Anyone that can come up with the best answer, will win this INCREDIBLE wedding planner, by celebrity wedding coordinator, Mindy Weiss. Mindy has planned the weddings of  Trista & Ryan, Nick Lachey & Jessica Simpson, Gwen Stefani & Gavin Rossdale, Jackie & Adam Sandler and most recently Heidi Klum & Seal! Ummm, wow. At $99 a pop, and chock-a-block full of tips and advice from the best of the best, this is a great prize!

Please don't be shy...I want to make this blog really useful and something that you will read every day. The last day of the contest is Tuesday, so...let's get this party started!

Can't wait to hear your thoughts and ideas! Please use the "comments" tab at the bottom of the post.


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Comments

SWC

I think that what many wedding sites are missing is the "how-to" part of incorporating their many great ideas. Aside from Martha Stewart, the suggestions on websites I visit are seldom accompanied by practical advice. I don't have a wedding planner to hand the ideas over to, so I'm often left puzzled, thinking, I really like that welcome sign (or whatever) but how can I make/find/buy one, and how could I get it set up on the day of, etc. Am I alone in feeling this way?

alice

The "how-to" part is crucial, I completely agree. Another thing most wedding websites are lacking is the uniqueness factor every bride (at least in my case) craves, at an affordable price. I'm currently researching favors and keep coming across the same mundane favors that people will simply toss into a drawer, never to see light again! This simply won't due. I want a site that offers CREATIVE ideas, is dyi friendly, and will make the guests say 'wow, this is really great' without breaking the bank.

LCS

I agree about the how-to part, most of the sites I've seen leave that out. I'd like to see options that look similar, but vary in price. Also, I'd like to see more detailed info about destination weddings, since that is what I'm trying to plan right now!

Roslyn

Well I am discovering your blog for the first time today. What I love about wedding blogs is seeing real-life photos of brides and their projects, fashions, accessories, flowers, etc. during the whole planning process. I love Weddingbee for this reason and I am addicted to the "real weddings" section of the Knot. I'll be sure to continue checking your blog out now!

Kim

I definitely agree with the suggestions the other brides have mentioned. Creating a wedding that's really personal and unique but on a budget is much harder than I expected. There's this great show on HGTV where they take an inspiration expensive room and try to recreate it on a budget. There are so many beautiful expensive weddings... what about trying to help fellow brides recreate it but on a budget? I love the "inspiration board" piece.

Alli B

I love this site and can't get enough of it! Abby Jean is my favorite because of the personal touches that she so effortlessly and creatively adds to every aspect of wedding planning.

Laura

What I would like to see most are the unusual angles you can take when planning a wedding. For example, when it comes to venues, everyone thinks of parks, beaches, gardens, churches, hotels, and golf courses. What other options exist that I am not thinking of, because they're not listed in typical lists of wedding venues? For decor, we all know about flower centrepieces and aisle runners. What can I do differently that will get noticed? Feathers? Wood? I would love to see ideas that get me thinking outside the box.

By the way I just found your site today via Weddingbee and it's wonderful! Good job getting it set up and I look forward to reading more in the future.

Julie

I definitely agree with the previous comments on the 'how-to' ideas. Everyone says you can do things like print out your own invitations, or at least programs, but nobody gives real suggestions as to how to do this. I also think suggestions would be helpful as to where it is better to cut corners and where it is best to splurge, in order to have the most impact for the wedding -- is it worth it to spend more money on the band and then less on the florist, and if so, what are ideas for enhancing the flowers with inexpensive things that I can do myself? Other wedding sites and books provide common-sense information (as in, if you want to save money on photography, use less pictures in your album -- I don't need a book to tell me this!).
I also think it would be fabulous if you could tag posts not just by topic (wedding snapshot, inspiration board, etc), but could also organize them by color scheme or wedding style. While it is fun to look through all the different ideas, it would be great to be able to pull out specific ideas that relate to our own wedding. For example, I am having a black tie encouraged black-and-white wedding, and while looking at pictures of brightly colored spring garden weddings can be fun, when I'm crunched for time, it would be so useful to be able to look at ideas that would be most relevant to what I am doing. Just a suggestion -- for all I know, it may take hour upon hour just to try to do this for posts.
Thanks for all you do with this site though - I know I really enjoy what you have done and I am sure that all the other brides-to-be feel the same!

Jenn

Wow...I linked over here today from weddingbee.com, and I have to say that I'm blown away. Forget improving the site to make it a daily must read -- it's already there!

With that said, I truly love everything you're doing around helping a bride find the theme for her wedding. So often, I think people just try to go with a color or two...or even just throw together a bunch of things that they like. Just browsing this site, I've found so much inspiration for my own wedding...and I've realized that it's all around me!

The categories that you have set up already are great, but I do think that you could expand them as the site grows. Tagging pictures/articles by color was already suggested, but what about by season? Or by the level of formality in the wedding? I just love looking at the pictures from casual, beachy weddings, but I'm having a formal winter event in the city.

Thanks for everything...your blog is just wonderful, and I'm sure that it will only attract more attention from here!

Katy

I agree with everyone else's suggestion so far. I guess my suggestion would be something useful for me at the moment which has to do with finding the venue. I'm having issues getting a contract from my venue (its been 2 months) and can't book any other vendors and wonder if I need to start looking for another venue. Once this happens, everything else will fall into place and all of the suggestions listed above will apply to me, but as of yet I'm stuck in limbo because of this venue issue.

So maybe a "featured venue" type blog once or twice a week that objectively points out the good, the bad, the ugly. For example, if you're having your venue at a non-hotel or private estate that has a gorgeous ocean view (the good), but you can't have amplified mysic after 10pm (the bad), and you have to rent bathrooms(the ugly) because there aren't enough for your 150 guests to potty in. The resources available for finding a venue haven't been helpful for me, a lot of times its because the information is limited or inaccurate and you have to make the effort to go there and see for yourself. Venue hunting is a pain man!

kfishie

I agree with the previous posts on how great your site is and also on how useful the how to's of DIY would be. In addition, perhaps you could do a feature on the different emotions that a bride-to-be experiences during wedding planning. I describe wedding planning as an emotional rollercoaster of the different phases you go through...ie: state of euphoria, excitement, stress, frustration, giddiness, the days where you just need a break from wedding planning, etc. Maybe some real life examples of what other brides go through during different phases of planning would be nice.

Jenny

Others have already said the "more how-tos" which I'd loved to see more of too. What I also find lacking is a good comparison between the "splurge" and the "budget." A lot of sites I look at they either just focus on how to save the most money and cut corners or on the opposite end of the spectrum everything will be so ridiculously expensive that most people couldn't afford it.

It would be great to see ideas and to show examples from the high end to the low end. I think that would be helpful for any bride (regardless of their budget) because people are willing to splurge on different things. Just because your budget is $10k that doesn't mean you wouldn't be willing to spend $1k of that on invitations or even if your budget is $100k you might be looking for a cheap do-it-yourself idea for invitations. It would be awesome to show one type of invitation but then show examples of similar items - one that costs a lot and one that doesn't - and give ideas on how to make it more luxe or cut costs on the same ideas.

I've been a longtime reader of Weddingbee and I saw the link to your site. I'm so happy I found your site! Your posts are awesome - really inspirational and I really look forward to reading more! Thanks!

Girl.In.White

What a great site, I have Mrs. Bee to thank for the recc!

What I would love to see is a "design 1 2 3" section that would highlight real weddings and interview the brides to find out execution details. Specific questions that would allow us "brides to be" insight on how they pulled it all together, (meaning colors, style, theme, budget) how and why they chose what they did, and if they would have done anything differently.
I see a lot of great ideas but I keep reminding myself to keep my plans streamlined, it's about the big picture, the sum of the parts, that makes an impressive day visually and an enjoyable day emotionally. (otherwise I'd be all over the place with bird themes, flower themes, heritage themes, 12 different color palattes, modern style, old world style, etc etc!)
Detailed insight into the "best bios" or other real weddings would be the most helpful. It's in the details that one gives up or blossoms!

Greer

Love your blog! I feel like it already does capture what I think is missing from the many other bridal blogs. While I definitely understand the need for more detailed "how tos", I am coming from the opposite angle- I don't want to most of this stuff myself BUT I still want to operate on a realistic budget WHILE creating a wedding that doesn't look or feel "cheap" or tacky (which it would if I did things myself b/c I totally lack creativity/craftiness!). Most bridal blogs provide (to me) too many little do-it-yourself details (intricate handmade favors, etc.) that I feel like just clog up my already too long to-do list, while I would prefer a "big picture" then the little nice touches as part of the larger event that actually give the reader a sense of being there & knowing the couple.

I love your inspiration boards primarily because I want to see more details about the actual bride & groom. I think this is why I like wedding bee so much, because I have been able to find bloggers that I can identify with. While I always appreciate looking at pretty pictures of all types of weddings, there are definitely some people whose aesthetic I just gravitate towards. I also love looking at Knot Bios for this reason, because you can quickly get a sense for the actual feel of the wedding rather than just looking at the color scheme or theme of the wedding. What I want more of is details about what type of wedding the couple envisioned-was it supposed to be trendy? relaxed? casual? formal? traditional? rustic? family/kid oriented? vintage-y? modern? When looking at pictures, I kind of mentally organize couples/weddings by the aesthetic/design they remind me of-like Anthropologie style which to me is more vintage but whimsical, J.Crew is kind of classic/preppy, etc. Although mine are silly examples, maybe organizing or tagging the wedding profiles/inspiration boards by some label for the overall aesthetic would help.

The primary struggle I am facing is creating a wedding that makes guests feel like "this is so them" by incorporating both mine and my fiance's style. While I am planning an outdoor wedding, I am finding inspiration from totally different types of weddings (church, city, destination, etc.)-the thing I identify with is the attitude that the bride & groom took when planning and what feel they were going for. The great thing I am finding about weddings is that it is a chance to integrate both the individual personalities of the bride & groom, while also reflecting the personality of them together as a couple for (usually) the first time.

Thanks for blogging!

Renee

Hello! I think most wedding blogs or websites is missing the logistics of the day. Like, I know those are cute shoes, but someone please tell me how long it took you to get those group shots, or when in the day did you do the ceremony. Most wedding websites are a bunch of details - not the bigger picture. I'm enjoying the blog so far! Keep us the good work.

Trolley

I'd definitely agree on the suggestions about how-tos & other practicalities, but what I look for most is how to communicate & operationalize (elaborate? expand? develop?) a vision. Many brides, myself included, have a distinct taste. That taste, however, is not trained like a designer's, and it causes confusion, complication, and extra work in creating a beautiful event.

By way of example, imagine my saying "modern" to a florist, because what I wanted was "architectural," to me, they mean the same thing, to her, they mean dramatically different things. This impedes her ability, as a vendor, to give me the best possible service, and it impedes my ability, as a bride, to both enact the vision my fiance a& I share, and to be a good client.

I read many blogs for the "real wedding" aspects, because I like the cameraderie, and the inspiration, but what I read vendor & enthusiast blogs for is the know-how that their unique expertise brings. I think that your style inspiration boards are the beginning step of the enunciation of vision process, and if you were to develop that theme further in this blog, I would be ecstatic.

Thao

I'd definitely love to see more vendor reviews, but I guess it would be difficult since it'd be region-specific.
I like the how-tos also.

(Is there any way you could set up the comments to where you have a choice if you want your email posted or not? I don't feel very comfortable about having my email available for the world to spam me with.)

BTW, I love the simple, elegant design of the site!

abby larson

Oh my gosh, these comments are amazing. Just wanted to chime in about the email question by Trolley...I will definitely get on this tonight (poor husband:), thanks for mentioning.

As for the rest of the comments, keep 'em coming! This is giving me great insight to what you guys want to read about!!!

Abby (writer of Style Me Pretty)

heather

I read this blog daily and am already (happily) married. Although tailored toward weddings (which is the most special day of all!), this site is modern, classy and a great reference for special events like anniversary celebrations, showers or birthdays.

I think this site is well written, organized and has a great balance of professionalism and personal touches. It's simply fun to read. Agree with the comments on real-life weddings, Southern Living's bridal magazine was a great resource for me while planning our wedding because it provided the big picture as well as lots of detail - just like the wedding snapshot posts on this site.

SWC

Ok, I know I already posted once, but reading these comments got me thinking of more stuff I'd love to learn about. That, I think, sums up what I'm looking for - more learning - a site that can give me the info I need to pull off the kind of event I want. The specific info I look for has changed as I've gone through the various stages of planning, but in every case I'm looking for what I can take away from all the great ideas I see and incorporate them into my plan. Right now I'm most concerned about figuring out how to accomplish everything logistically. What do I need to do, plan and prepare so that everything will go smoothly? What do I need to delegate? Basically I need to know how to perform the job of planner and coordinator ahead of time, so that on the day of I can sit back and let things (more or less) take care of themselves.

LaJuan

I guess its not what I want to get help or ideas on, but how I get it. I would love a chat session where I can go on and get immediate feedback from my fellow bloggers. I do not like having to check back every few minutes or hours for a response to a question or concern or feedback from a venting session. I would definatley benefit more from chatting live.

Beth K

Good morning! I am just discovering your blog today but don't know how i've been wedding planning without it! I believe the problem with many brides is two-fold, first it's in seeing the big picture, we have all of these ideas and little things we would like incorporated and decisions are made so peace meal (from vendors to the look of the cake and that of the linens and lighting and so on) that it becomes really hard to know how it will all look and come together - hence something like your inspiration board and posting real weddings becomes so essential -- you see how the colors and details and dresses and all of that interplays and creates an entire look as opposed to all of these smaller decisions in our heads!! the second problem / thing i know i am looking for is then the issue of execution, which is where how to's are a wonderful help, once an inspiration board or wedding with great ideas for our color or scheme is seen, then how can we re-create that look, anything from who the dress hanging on the back of a door is by to how to make that table number at home or where to buy the supplies for making your own paper luminaries. for me these are the two main problems that i'm overwhelmed by, the overall look coming together and the execution of those individual elements -- that's why i LOVE the idea of the inspiration board and seeing real weddings and then a somewhat connected how-to on wedding details.

hopefully this made sense and maybe others feel the same way :). what a great idea for a contest and for taking an interest in reader input. thank you so much for your wonderful blog, i plan to be a very loyal reader and love what i've seen so far!

Stephanie

I think it'd be interesting to see a section of problems/snafus that people have encountered during wedding planning or on the day of...and would like to know what they did to rectify the situation. I think that would help a lot!!

Trolley

Actually just a clarification: the name of the person who posted is below the comment. So I didn't post about the email issue, Thao did.

Maggie

Firstly let me say that I am LOVING your blog. It is amazing all the wedding ideas I have picked up since I stopped focusing on the regular websites (brides, the knot, etc..) and started reading personal advice. I think that what most of the other sites out there are missing is a real feeling of WHO these brides are. It often feels like there are 5 or 6 "categories" that a wedding needs to fit into... what I am looking for is something that breaks the mold. I don't want anyone walking into my reception-- an embodiment of who my fiance and I are-- and thinking "oh this is just like Julie's!"

What would I like to see when I visit? Unique ideas. A twist on the traditional without being wild and ultra modern. Wedding tips and ideas that center around the most important part of the day-- a union of two into one. Also-- pricing! So many times I will find something I LOVE and must have only to find out that it works better in a budget like Jessica Simpson than in mine! It would be great to see one concept done at a few different price levels.

You're doing great, keep it up!

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