How to Stop Comparisonitis - The Deadly Business Killer

Get Real Series

3 Ways to Stop Yourself from Playing the Comparison Game 

by Brianne Hultzman

 

Brianne Hultzman, owner of Hultzman Photography, joins us on the blog today to talk about three different tricks she uses to stop herself from playing the deadly game known as comparison. 

 
Comparisonitis - The Deadly Business Killer
 

Comparison game in business

Want to know a secret? Sometimes I like to fall off the face of the earth for a while. Not in a literal sense of course, but definitely when it comes to social media.

Why do I do it? Well, easy. When you become so consumed in what is trending and what’s going on social media, sometimes you forget to jump back into reality. A couple of weeks ago, I found myself scrolling through Instagram instead of playing with my daughter. I was so consumed with what everyone else is doing in the photography business that I started feeling bad about my own.

The comparison game. It is 100% real and it 100% sucks. There, I said it. It sucks.

In this industry, we find ourselves hearing over and over again, “Don’t compare yourself to other people.” Yeah, OKAY. But how do we stop ourselves from doing it? Here is the answer…

how to stop playing the Comparison game in your business

1. Take a Break

Get off your damn phone or computer. Walk outside and get a breath of fresh air. Meditate. Play with your animals or kids (or both if you multitask.) Your life isn’t worth spending time on social media pondering the thought of who is and who isn’t better than you. When you take a break, you can actually start thinking of new and fresh ideas that you want to somehow incorporate in your business or personal life. After you have taken a break…

2. Find Inspiration

Have you heard of Pinterest? It’s pretty amazing if I do say so myself. But start pinning stuff that you want to do! Or even better, go somewhere where you can find inspiration. Maybe that is a greenhouse, or a humane society, or even your backyard. Wherever that may be, find inspiration in things that light you up. What is it in your life that sets your soul on fire? Whatever that may be, go do it! Last but not least, after you have found your inspiration…

3. Implement those Ideas!

DO IT! I dare you! Once you take the initiative to actually implement the ideas you were inspired by, do it. Not only will it make you feel better, but you will be able to share your inspiration with others! It’s a win, win.


Brianne Hultzman is the creative genius behind Brianne Hultman Photography, a photography studio specializing in weddings, maternity, and couples that serves Western and Upstate, NY. Growing up, Brianne always had a point and shoot camera by her side so that she would never miss a moment of what was going on around her. Nowadays, things haven't changed a whole lot! She turned her hobby into a profession in 2016 and has never looked back! 

Leave her some love on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest!

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📣 Are you ready to see a serious spike in your website traffic? 📣

Would you like to contribute to the Get Real Series? KNOW SOMEONE THAT SHOULD GIVE US THEIR TWO CENTS?

🔍 I'm looking for wedding pros that would like to be featured on Wedding Boss Life by participating in the Get Real series which is all about getting raw and real with ourselves and businesses. 

YOU get to choose the topic that resonates with you, (feel free to be 10000% YOU - no need to filter yourself with me or my website) but some ideas to help get you started:

  1. ⭐️ What narrative in the wedding industry needs to desperately be re-written?

  2. 🔥 What lies were you told that you believed about the wedding industry or business?

  3. ✨ What has been your biggest struggle in business? How have you/do you plan to overcome it?

  4. 💥 What do you wish more wedding pros knew?

  5. 📍 What did you have to learn the hard way?

  6. 🎀 What keeps you motivated as an entrepreneur?

If you’d like to write a guest post, FILL OUT THE FORM BELOW!

 
 

A Letter to Me Before I Made It

Get Real Series

A Letter to Myself Before Beginning My Business

by Kasey Kyprianou

Kasey Kyprianou, a trailblazing stationer and lead badass designer of revelry + heart, joins us on the blog today! As the saying goes, "Hindsight is 20/20." Wouldn't it be great to have a remote that could transport you back in time to tell your past self what mistakes to avoid and lessons you should learn in your business? Well, this post is the next best thing as Kasey talks about the types of things she would have loved to tell herself before she began her business! 

 
LetterFB Artboard copy@2x copy.jpg
 

Hey you.

 

I know how much you love people. I know how much you need validation that what you do is good enough, important enough and pretty enough to be valued. Use this when you’re feeling doubtful.

A letter to my business before making it

 

I know you struggle with charging for you work. I know you think you know how to reach people.

 

I know you hate sales, and think everyone is out to swindle you, because you’ve been taken advantage of and manipulated more than once in life.

 

I also know your heart. You pour it into your work, and can’t settle until you know your client loves it just as much as you do. I know this is why you take it so personally when it doesn’t go over like you planned. You care. A lot. Maybe too much, but I’m telling you it’s not too much, I promise.

 

You’re trying so hard to make it. To wear all the hats. You can’t figure out SEO, facebook ads, what analytics are or what they mean. You can’t crunch numbers, but you’re trying, the iPhone calculator and spreadsheets be damned. You have the resources.

 

You’re afraid to be successful. Because success will mean more pressure. More at stake. More room for failure as the expectations rise. You can do it.

 

You have it in your blood to make a name for yourself. Business entrepreneurship runs in your blood, and even if they never mentored you or taught you a single thing, it’s in the hidden parts of your brain, waiting to be sparked to life and activated. It wouldn’t be the first time you taught yourself something.

 

You can’t do this alone. You’re going to burn out, get frustrated and bitter. You have to invest in more than a savings account. You have to not worry about buying that paper, and instead, spend money on making it.

 

A Letter to myself before I made it

You need to let down your walls in order to get inspired. You need to let go of the thoughts that what you’re thinking can’t be done, that no one will buy in, because you’re wrong. If they don’t do anything but buy-in to your crazy ideas, you will get buy in. And your creativity will flood faster than you can anticipate, faster than you can articulate, and you’ll get so excited by your own abilities.

 

No one is going to believe in you for you. But I do. And you don’t have to give yourself away to prove your worth.

 

Raise. Your. prices. You don’t need a tool or someone to tell you how much or what they should be. Trust yourself. 

 

Your competition is not who you think it is, and those who are, are charging 5x as much. You deserve to make money on your expertise, your talents are worth their weight in gold, even if you think it’s something that comes effortlessly.

 

You will never run out of clients because someone does the same thing as you, but better. I promise.

 

Stop listening to what everyone else is doing and beat your own path. You love the road less traveled, so why are you longingly looking at the traffic jam?

 

Buy the software that will help you make money. Invest in those who will do the same. They are not out to get you, but I know you’ll check their references, just in case.

 

You will become your billboard, so turn inward, think about who you are, and when you think you’ve got it nailed down, you’ll find a whole other side. She is ready to take on these challenges in ways you were much too afraid to approach before. She’s been there all along and she’ll never leave you.

 

You’re multi-talented, but focus your effort on what you love. You’ll blossom when you stick to the things you like.

 

Ironically, you’re going to learn how to makes sales. It’s not your favorite thing, but there is an element that you’ll find you absolutely love, and oddly enough, it can be one of the most fun parts of the process.

 

You’re going to run into people who make you doubt yourself. You’ll find those who support you without asking in these moment. You’ll build a thicker skin each time. Don’t you ever feel like what you believe in isn’t as valid as those who criticize you.

 

You don’t have to ask for people to like you. You will find the right people the more vulnerable you are. The less you try, the better your results.

 

You’re going to make money.

You’re going to break through the noise.

You are going to make an impact.

You are brushfire.


 

Kasey Kyprianou is the owner and founder of revelry + heart, a custom design studio for couples that revel in their authenticity and crave design that evokes conversation. In a past life, Kasey was a graphic design student who interned at a stationery store in Greenwich, Connecticut. It was there that she worked on projects with the likes of Brenden Fraser and Flo Rida. Now, a seasoned business owner, she owns her own studio and designs for her own celebrity clients around the world. She's an envelope-pusher, a family treaty peacemaker, timeline expert and non-traditional stationery queen.

Leave her some love on InstagramFacebook, or Pinterest!

1477442009346.png

📣 Are you ready to see a serious spike in your website traffic? 📣

Would you like to contribute to the Get Real Series? KNOW SOMEONE THAT SHOULD GIVE US THEIR TWO CENTS?

🔍 I'm looking for wedding pros that would like to be featured on Wedding Boss Life by participating in the Get Real series which is all about getting raw and real with ourselves and businesses. 

YOU get to choose the topic that resonates with you, (feel free to be 10000% YOU - no need to filter yourself with me or my website) but some ideas to help get you started:

  1. ⭐️ What narrative in the wedding industry needs to desperately be re-written? 
  2. 🔥 What lies were you told that you believed about the wedding industry or business?
  3. ✨ What has been your biggest struggle in business? How have you/do you plan to overcome it? 
  4. 💥 What do you wish more wedding pros knew?
  5. 📍 What did you have to learn the hard way?
  6. 🎀 What keeps you motivated as an entrepreneur?

If you’d like to write a guest post, FILL OUT THE FORM BELOW!


Why Networking is the Lifeline of Your Business

Get Real Series

3 Unique Networking Ideas to Grow your Business

by Casi Smith

Casi Smith, owner and lead photographer of Pine + Honey Photography, joins us on the Get Real Series to chat about 3 different ways to utilize networking to its fullest extent within your creative business! 

 
StopFB Artboard copy@2x copy.jpg
 

I feel like we all have been there (or are still there) where we are just so tired of no one seeing us or booking us. Our photos are great, we post to social media daily, and we engage with people. Why isn’t our business moving forward? 

One basic reason - The internet is a black hole. 

Wait, what does that even mean? 

You have so many people posting great photos, great content, just like you, using the SAME STRATEGY. We all do it. Yet, you're not getting any more booked weddings because of it. 

But, I’m not here to talk about social media strategy. To be honest, I don’t believe there is a one size fits all, or even a magic formula. I truly don’t believe in it. 

What I am here to say is that you need to get out from behind your computer screen to go and...

Network

What?! Leave my computer?! But I need to edit, respond to emails instantly, be on social media constantly! 

Nope. You can leave for like 10 hours. Trust me. 

My business was dying. It was because I was doing what everyone else was doing. People (brides, clients, everyone) can find a great photographer online easily, but the only thing that differentiates you from “Suzie Photographer” down the street is you. 

Your personality, the way that you make them feel, the effort you put into getting to know them. IN PERSON. 

The reason I say this is because people want to feel like they can trust their photographer, that they will make them feel good and have their best interest in mind. 

So, what am I doing to make this happen? 

1) OFFER FREE FAMILY SESSIONS AT A BUSINESS LOCATION

I am networking with businesses in my community. 

I reached out to a local winery and offered them something. I would take photos of families for free, in exchange to get families to come to their winery. I know wineries struggle at getting people to drive all the way out to buy wine, especially families, so I saw it as an opportunity. 

I’m not getting anything out of this. I am building a network. You know what happens when these families get their free photos? They’re going to brag about me. 

That winery, they may hire me to do product photography, or not. I don’t care. I just need to meet people in real life. 

Networking is the Lifeline of Your Business

Referrals do come my way, but what happens when they dry up? What are you doing to actively build your referral network? 

2) STRATEGIC FACEBOOK ADS

I ran a facebook ad offering engagement sessions for free to build my portfolio. 

You may say, “What? But you just said to get out from behind the screen!!!” And you’re right, but this allows me to do just that. What is the best network to leverage? Your social network. 

I have people tagging people they know who are engaged for me. And guess what? Those free engagement sessions may just turn into full wedding sessions. 

3) STYLED SHOOTS (BUT NOT THE WAY YOU THINK)

I am doing styled shoots, not to get the photos, but where I collaborate with other photographers. 

We take photos and videos of each other to post behind the scenes / in action on our social media.

Why? Because I can’t take photos of myself or hire someone to do this for me all the time. 

This also builds my network with photographers. What happens if they get a bride requesting them to do a wedding but they’re booked? They will refer me and I will refer to them! 

Collaboration helps you. Stop feeling so dang competitive. 

These are just ideas. Take them or leave them, but just realize that the internet only takes you so far. We work in an industry that involves human connections. Why don’t you start your marketing efforts that way? 

Wishing you the best!

Casi


 
 

Based out of Oregon, Casi Smith is a natural light photographer that specializes in weddings, engagements, newborn, and family portraiture. She thrives off of the ability to tell and preserve everyone's story through her art! 

 

Leave her some love on Instagram or Facebook!

1477442009346.png

📣 Are you ready to see a serious spike in your website traffic? 📣

Would you like to contribute to the Get Real Series? KNOW SOMEONE THAT SHOULD GIVE US THEIR TWO CENTS?

🔍 I'm looking for wedding pros that would like to be featured on Wedding Boss Life by participating in the Get Real series which is all about getting raw and real with ourselves and businesses. 

YOU get to choose the topic that resonates with you, (feel free to be 10000% YOU - no need to filter yourself with me or my website) but some ideas to help get you started:

  1. ⭐️ What narrative in the wedding industry needs to desperately be re-written? 
  2. 🔥 What lies were you told that you believed about the wedding industry or business?
  3. ✨ What has been your biggest struggle in business? How have you/do you plan to overcome it? 
  4. 💥 What do you wish more wedding pros knew?
  5. 📍 What did you have to learn the hard way?
  6. 🎀 What keeps you motivated as an entrepreneur?

If you’d like to write a guest post, FILL OUT THE FORM BELOW!


Stop Glancing Over the Fence if You Want to Fly

Get Real Series

HOW TO STOP COMPARING YOUR BUSINESS TO YOUR COMPETITION

by Kasey Kyprianou

 

Kasey Kyprianou, a trailblazing stationer and lead badass designer of revelry + heart, joins us on the blog today to talk about all embracing your individuality and kicking feelings of imposter syndrome and FOMO to the curb!

 
Stop comparing your business to your competition by kasey kyprianou
 

“A rising tide lifts all boats.”

If you’re in the wedding industry, you know that this is the motto of the Rising Tide Society, and while super idealistic in nature, it’s not always easy to do. I am guilty of following other designers and getting imposter syndrome just as badly as anyone else.

It’s so easy to get overwhelmed, burnt out, and feel hopeless as a solopreneur. It can seem like your industry is oversaturated and that you don’t provide anything unique enough besides just being you. Is that enough?

Well, it’s a great start. But who are you? What makes you different? Why do you people want to work with you? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, do some soul-searching. You can’t sell yourself if you don’t know what you’re selling. I have this running joke that I know myself down to being a shoe string fry--when I desperately want to be a curly fry.

how to stop worrying about what other businesses are doing

The best thing I learned when launching my non-traditional design studio, revelry + heart, was to find out what my competition was doing, what the industry was doing, and swim like a salmon upstream in the opposite direction.

Trends? Fuck 'em.
Pantone color of the year? No thanks.
Fashion collection runway releases? I’m good.

Blame my rebel streak, (it’s cause I was born during Mercury retrograde), blame the fact that I never fit in with the cool crowd, blame my creative side, I just hate everything haute.

So how did I change up how I approached wedding stationery? I made it black. I made it on wood. I made it on tile. I make kickass wedding invitations that are keepsakes before your guests even get to your wedding. They make people talk.

Because people talk anyway right? Might as well get them talking for the right reasons.

How did I take it farther? I made my motto “following hearts, not trends.” I don’t design frilly invitations with lace anymore, I source that shit out to the people who do it and love it. I design only when my heart is in the job, when I can push my clients without pushing them away.

I design for people who revel in their authenticity and crave statement pieces that evoke conversation.

And if you think I make piecemeal, think again. I design wedding aesthetics, taking couple’s personalities and pushing them into every available space. From hashtags, to unique ceremony suggestions, to signature drink names--I believe everything can be personalized way beyond just slapping on a monogram.

Yesterday I suggested making an ice cream sandwich and eating it as a unity ceremony.  Because why the hell not.

My couples are not afraid to be themselves and push boundaries with me. It makes them stand out and have weddings that are unlike anything else their family and friends have ever seen. They are totally unique celebrations of their love with something the mass market can never capitalize on--a relationship with a creative like me who actually listens to them and doesn't try to cram them into a box or a design that I made 6 months ago.

Stop looking over the fence if you want to fly

How am I disrupting the industry? I do facebook live shows on topics like “stop slut shaming your wedding” and “don’t have shitty wedding favors.” I drink wine with my followers and host a kickass wedding planning group--where industry professionals are not only welcomed, but encouraged.

I approach topics like anxiety during engagement openly.

On the business side, well, I don’t follow rules there either. I charge for proposals. Couples get the retainer back when they book a package with me, but otherwise, it pays for my time, my ideas and my sketches.

I create mood boards with little to no influence based on pinterest weddings, but rather photos of the couples’ venue, pets, homes, and passions. Pulling elements from them to create something unique like canine bohemian chic or retro molar elegance. Yes. Molars, like the teeth. I guess you could say I pull teeth for my DDS couples. Dedication to my craft, amirite?

I have DIY options for couples that want the insight and some skill of a professional designer, but can’t afford full service design for their whole wedding.

I don’t follow … okay, I try not to follow stationery designers. If they do social media better than me, it gets to me, even though I know first-hand that an epic performance on social media does not equal profit, bookings or success.

I openly bash styled shoots. I create controversy because it gets people thinking, and talking about how to do it differently.

So how can you disrupt your industry? What is something that’s common in your craft that you can flip on its head? What rules are you willing to shatter? What assumptions do you want to break free of?

Because your gut is right. There ARE a ton of people who do what you do, at the core of it all. But if you find how you solve your client’s pain points, there will be no competition.

Go out there and kick ass.


 

Kasey Kyprianou is the owner and founder of revelry + heart, a custom design studio for couples that revel in their authenticity and crave design that evokes conversation. In a past life, Kasey was a graphic design student who interned at a stationery store in Greenwich, Connecticut. It was there that she worked on projects with the likes of Brenden Fraser and Flo Rida. Now, a seasoned business owner, she owns her own studio and designs for her own celebrity clients around the world. She's an envelope-pusher, a family treaty peacemaker, timeline expert and non-traditional stationery queen.

Leave her some love on InstagramFacebook, or Pinterest!

1477442009346.png

📣 Are you ready to see a serious spike in your website traffic? 📣

Would you like to contribute to the Get Real Series? KNOW SOMEONE THAT SHOULD GIVE US THEIR TWO CENTS?

🔍 I'm looking for wedding pros that would like to be featured on Wedding Boss Life by participating in the Get Real series which is all about getting raw and real with ourselves and businesses. 

YOU get to choose the topic that resonates with you, (feel free to be 10000% YOU - no need to filter yourself with me or my website) but some ideas to help get you started:

  1. ⭐️ What narrative in the wedding industry needs to desperately be re-written? 
  2. 🔥 What lies were you told that you believed about the wedding industry or business?
  3. ✨ What has been your biggest struggle in business? How have you/do you plan to overcome it? 
  4. 💥 What do you wish more wedding pros knew?
  5. 📍 What did you have to learn the hard way?
  6. 🎀 What keeps you motivated as an entrepreneur?

If you’d like to write a guest post, FILL OUT THE FORM BELOW!


Are You Running a Hobby or a Business?

Get Real Series

PSA for All Entrepreneurs: Hobbyist vs. Business Owner 

by Kristen Vinci-Taylor

 

Kristen Vinci-Taylor, a passionate family photographer, sheds light on a topic within the creative industry that separates the hobbyists from the business owners. Which category do YOU fall into?

 
Are you running a business or a hobby?
 

Are you hustling as a part-time entrepreneur while working a 9-5? That's awesome, it makes me so excited when I meet other people who are driven and motivated to work for themselves. In the photography business, I work with a wide variety of vendors from brick and mortar businesses like bakeries and wedding venues to small businesses like T-shirt designers and centerpiece creators. 

Are you a legal business

In today's digital age, more and more home-based businesses are popping up and people are turning their hobbies and passions into side income business ventures. Recently as I've tried to diversify my vendor base I've run into more and more of these, "hobby turned start up" business ventures and it has created a legal and ethical conundrum for my own business. Let me explain why: many of these new startup businesses haven't gone through the process of establishing themselves as a legal business.  

Now you may ask, "What’s the big deal if they haven't established themselves as a business, it’s just a hobby and why not try to make a little money while you are at it?" 

There are several tax and legal implications for my registered and licensed business if I work with an unlicensed business. The hiring business assumes all liability when working with unlicensed vendors. In most cases, that is an unnecessary level or risk assumed by me and my company when I work with people who haven't gone through the process of getting themselves established. Each year when tax time rolls around, business taxes become more complicated as the work performed by unlicensed and unregistered businesses are itemized and subject to greater scrutiny.

Praise

I applaud you, side hustler, for chasing your dreams and turning your passions into something sustainable. However, you are hurting the rest of us that DON'T have a 9-5 job to fall back on for income. One theme we all share is that have invested thousands of hours, sleepless nights, tears, frustration, and pure joy into our passion. The main difference is that only SOME of us have taken the time and money to turn our startups into legal businesses so that we don't negatively effect the creative industry as a whole (and run into legal complications down the road).

It’s pretty simple and very advantageous to turn your hobby into a licensed and registered small business if you want to start working for yourself and chasing your dream. I can only speak from experience in New Jersey, but the process was fairly simple and the turnaround time is rather quick. 

Steps in Becoming a "REAL" Business

  1. Protect yourself and your business. File for an LLC or other liability protection entity.

  2. Speak with your state about obtaining a tax ID number. (For NJ)

  3. Speak with your local town or county clerk for licensing information.

  4. Determine your requirement for insurance for your business.

Making your business legal

The whole process was completed in under a week and the peace of mind that I had in completing these necessary steps was huge. It's unfortunate that as business owners we need to even consider lawsuits and things possibly going wrong, but accidents do happen. By going through the process to register and license my business I'm now protected in case of an accident.

I wanted to shed light on a few misconceptions surrounding business legalities for both hobby enthusiasts and new business startups and expose the real reason why you should become "legal": The peace of mind once the process is completed is worth its weight in gold. The last thing anyone wants is to have an accident occur with their shiny new business and lose their livelihood because of lack registration and licensure.

There are certain unnecassary risks that I've seen people take with their businesses and I just wanted to share my own experiences in hopes that people will finally understand just how easy making a business legal can be.

 

*The content in this posted is not intended as legal advice. The content should be taken under advisement by the reader as a source of information, but not legal advice.  Seek the counsel of a competent lawyer in your jurisdiction as well as a CPA before making any significant business decision such as determining licensing requirements.


 

Kristen Vinci-Taylor is the owner and operator of Smile Photography LLC located in Manahawkin, NJ. Being a business owner has become her passion after walking into an elective Photography class in college and has never turned back. She opened her business in February 2012 with no real direction of where she wanted to take it. After 5 years in the  industry she now is focused on newborn, chilld, and family photography.

Leave her some love on InstagramFacebook, or Pinterest!

1477442009346.png

📣 Are you ready to see a serious spike in your website traffic? 📣

Would you like to contribute to the Get Real Series? KNOW SOMEONE THAT SHOULD GIVE US THEIR TWO CENTS?

🔍 I'm looking for wedding pros that would like to be featured on Wedding Boss Life by participating in the Get Real series which is all about getting raw and real with ourselves and businesses. 

YOU get to choose the topic that resonates with you, (feel free to be 10000% YOU - no need to filter yourself with me or my website) but some ideas to help get you started:

  1. ⭐️ What narrative in the wedding industry needs to desperately be re-written? 
  2. 🔥 What lies were you told that you believed about the wedding industry or business?
  3. ✨ What has been your biggest struggle in business? How have you/do you plan to overcome it? 
  4. 💥 What do you wish more wedding pros knew?
  5. 📍 What did you have to learn the hard way?
  6. 🎀 What keeps you motivated as an entrepreneur?

If you’d like to write a guest post, FILL OUT THE FORM BELOW!


The Shady Side to Styled Shoots

Get Real Series

Falling for the Fallacy: The Styled Shoot Tree can be Shady AF

by Kasey Kyprianou

 

Kasey Kyprianou, a trailblazing stationer and lead badass designer of revelry + heart, joins us on the blog today to shed light on the controversial topic of styled shoots within the wedding industry. 

 
Shedding Some Light on the Shady Side of Styled Shoots
 

We need to talk about styled shoots.

What is a styled shoot? For credibility, I decided not to dictate what my version of a styled shoot is, although you know I found a definition I agreed with--because well, that’s kind of the point of this post.

Our creative leaders are traveling around the country creating and designing styled wedding shoots (with models, hair & makeup, gowns, flowers, cake, stationery*, reception tables, a beautiful venue, etc... the whole nine!) for photographers to capture beautiful details and portfolio worthy images. Of course, photographers at the shoots are welcome (& encouraged) to submit their photos for publication and use them to help build up their brand and/or the clientele they are after. -Styled Shoots Across America

To sum it up, it’s a mock wedding that creative event professionals collaborate on in order to mutually benefit everyone participating by getting portfolio images and creative liberties to explore new creative outlets.

It’s a photoshoot. Fantasy.

Dog Wedding Invitation

Dog Wedding Invitation

 

Photo by Marina Rey Photography

I was able to be on site for this shoot to style my lay flat, I really appreciate that I was able to show all the pieces without crowding, and add in little details like the dog treats.

Perks:

  1. Event planners get to show off their design and communication skills
  2. Photographers get to shoot the exact event they want to shoot
  3. Event professionals get professional images of their work
  4. Models/Couples get images of themselves
  5. Everyone gets to flex their creative muscles

And if all goes according to plan: you get published and get to put a .png badge on your website to convince people you know what you’re doing.

Obviously, there are industries that benefit more than others for styled shoots. You don’t often see musicians participate, because well, you can’t hear music no matter how many words a picture may be worth. Videographers add a great social media nugget to the mix, and allow musicians or djs to join the party--but it’s rare to have video coverage, at least that I’ve seen. There is rarely ever a caterer involved because well, it’s all fake. No one is going to eat anything (besides maybe some cold pizza out of frame) and food photography is a whole other ball game. Couples want to try your food no matter how beautifully it photographs, so it’s not really worth the effort it would take for them.

My industry--design of all pretty people things. I design stationery and decor for styled shoots and I’ve had both fantastic and horrible experiences. Stationers have an advantage in that they can send their pieces across the globe to be part of a shoot without actually being physically present. But that means they lose the opportunity to style their work, which, much like a florist would want, makes neck hairs stand up over presentation fails.

Classic stationery designers are known to design beautiful thin scripts in pastel inks on white papers. You can imagine that would require a very refined photographer to shoot and edit to make sure the work is showcased properly. Overexposure is real--am I looking at a hand calligraphy invitation or a blank piece of paper?

Mexican Vibrant Invitation Suite

Mexican Punk Invite

 

Photo Credit Ana Teresa Photography

This suite was a perfect mash up of creative minds with just enough creative freedom. I pitched a couple of ideas and they chose one that I ran with. I got to be on site to style the shoot and surprised them with a few extra elements like custom menus that weren’t part of the original deal because I felt so appreciated and embraced.

Styling the suite is just as important as the final design. Random accessories (why are there shoes with the invitation?), invitations hidden under their suitemates, haphazard layouts and 2 photos as a result of  work that took hours are reasons the artist prefers to be onsite and styling their work. Sidenote: I’m the one asking for all the inserts to get captured from different angles (I need the ig content more than anything…) more than a few shots of the whole suite, and some sort of human being holding my work.

Even a shoot with the best intentions has a fairly good chance of being disappointment for the artist involved. But what about the shadiness of the whole idea of styled shoots? Can we talk about that? I didn’t come here to post on how to plan or participate in a styled shoot, I came here to call them out.

I. e x p o s u r e

I am a graphic designer. And if there is anything artists and designers know is that designing for exposure is the bane of our existence--no, really, we can’t feed ourselves or buy a home with exposure, if we could, I’d have invested in that ish way before bitcoin was a currency.

“But Kasey, how do you expect [paying] clients to find you if you don’t get your name out there?”

That’s literally my job as a small business owner. Make people know what I do and do it.

It happens through relationship building, referrals, paid marketing efforts, and maybe some wholesale priced work (still pro-bono if you ask me considering I’m not charging you for your time). I don’t do styled shoots for the exposure alone, because 99% of the time, it’s not worth it.

I have booked ONE wedding because of a published shoot.

ONE.

As a naïve baby artist, I designed for free. They promised me that once the company took off they’d pay me. Spoiler alert: none of the 3 companies went anywhere.

Styled shoots are just a shady way of asking a professional to deliver premium work without paying for it. And the intention is great, in theory, a rising tide lifts all boats and all.

The truth is, people are out there for themselves. If there is nothing in it for them, they’re ghosts. Now you know why people bail on a shoot after initially agreeing, or if they’re smart, ask the planner of the shoot 99 questions before agreeing to join in.

 
  Photo Credit -  Something Blue Photography    Once a stationery suite arrives at a shoot, sometimes it sits on a table, maybe styled, maybe not, and it either shot first or last with little attention to how to creatively display it. I am adamant about having a human element in at least one photo to stir an emotional response in my viewer and bring the suite to scale in a real world setting. 

Photo Credit - Something Blue Photography

Once a stationery suite arrives at a shoot, sometimes it sits on a table, maybe styled, maybe not, and it either shot first or last with little attention to how to creatively display it. I am adamant about having a human element in at least one photo to stir an emotional response in my viewer and bring the suite to scale in a real world setting. 

  Tile Invitation Suite    Photo Credit -  Something Blue Photography    This sorcery just blows my mind. This suite was on a glass table. GLASS. The wizardry of my photographer made it on a marble background and really made it pop. I got to style this lay flat which meant that there was no crowding and plenty of breathing room for all of the components. 

Tile Invitation Suite

Photo Credit - Something Blue Photography

This sorcery just blows my mind. This suite was on a glass table. GLASS. The wizardry of my photographer made it on a marble background and really made it pop. I got to style this lay flat which meant that there was no crowding and plenty of breathing room for all of the components. 

 

II. You are not a client.

There are VERY fine lines that need to be emboldened if styled shoots are going to work the way they were intended.

If I’m working for free it’s because it’s a passion project. Full stop.

I am not, by any way shape or form, designing something according to your parameters or personal opinions. If you ask me to be part of, or agree to my request to design for a shoot, you have me on board because you think my work aligns with your vision. Trust in that.

Maybe that makes me sound like an asshole, actually, I’m fairly sure it does, but you like something about this asshole’s work, so you get the whole asshole package.

It’s funny, we tell our couples all the time that despite their family’s contributions to their wedding, it doesn’t give them a right to dictate how it will play out. When they aren’t paying the couple should do whatever they want.

The Style Shoot Tree Can Be Shady AF

What a concept.

Event professionals get final say on their work for every styled shoot. Unless they are misrepresenting a fellow pro in some way, that’s just how it is.

Because of my work in non-traditional invitation mediums, I often get styled shoot coordinators asking me for a certain medium, which, yes, if it’s not paper, I’m probably your girl, but, if at my discretion, something works better, I get to do what I think is best. We don’t hire a natural light photographer to capture posed shots and we don’t ask for subjective design decisions from a designer.

So no, you don’t get to tell me you don’t like the font or the color of the envelopes. You are not a client. Because if you were, we’d have a much different process. Timelines, contracts, even communication boundaries are much different with clients, because they earn certain rights when they put their money where their mouth is.

III. A real party is not a styled shoot.

I’ll say it again for the people in the back.

A   r e a l   e v e n t   i s   n o t   a   s t y l e d  s h o o t .

This happens when I get asked to design for “shoots” that aren’t weddings. Or maybe they throw a pair of people in there as models to take photos of before the real event gets started--yeah no, not a styled shoot.

This is the shadiest shit I have ever seen.

Images by Amber Robinson | Raleigh Wedding Photographer | Kasey

Wood Invitation

Photo Credit - Amber Robinson

My work is heavily specialized in non-traditional mediums. This means that it can be especially tricky to photograph the details of woodgrain, the texture of fabric, and the visibility of clear acrylic. I partnered with one of my local professionals to get dedicated lay flat shots of my work for web and brand use that weren’t part of a styled shoot. The best part was that I had control over how my work was displayed, and we worked together to get the shots I needed.

You are asking a fellow creative to work a real event for nothing.

I have been told shoots are shoots only to get deeper in the process and find out that wasn’t the case. My red flag is when I get asked for a digital design or more than a couple copies of a suite.

Sorry, but 85 invitations are not for a styled shoot.

It doesn’t matter if you’re submitting it for publishing, it would be under the real weddings category if it were a wedding.

This is some grade-a bullshit right here where people ask their professional network to be part of a personal event for them with no intention of paying for their work. It honestly blows my mind, especially when we all would come to bat when a couple asks, “Is it more expensive because it’s a wedding?”

OF COURSE IT IS.

I spend 4 hours of design time on average for each real wedding. My couples get 3 rounds of proofs with unlimited changed and at minimum, 12 weeks of me as a professional resource.

Non-wedding designs are the bastard love child of an idea and a designer--not 2 consultation calls and a details questionnaire that takes approximately 20 minutes before I even open up adobe creative suite.

If it’s for an event with real guests, pay for the work you’re asking for.

IV. Stop saying yes.

I didn’t do styled shoots for a bit. They cost big money to create the batshit crazy ideas I come up with--seriously, I have a sample of one invitation that cost me $150 wholesale. Even now, I’m exceptionally wary of the ones I say yes to. I honestly do them for fun, when clients are sparse, or both and I need a hit of that sweet sweet gratification that comes from a gorgeous professional image of my work. I ask if there’s an interested publication and who--everything must line up with my scope.

I’ve also said no.

It’s lead me to be asked more often about better opportunities. It’s earned me respect because I don’t bail unless circumstances change.

Styled shoots are shady business. Don’t get burned out there. Be your own asshole.


*Special thanks for the spelling edit of stationery from Styled Shoots Across America. It's important to use right titles of your fellow industry professionals. For more on stationery vs. stationary, see my blog on common stationery terms here.


 

Kasey Kyprianou is the owner and founder of revelry + heart, a custom design studio for couples that revel in their authenticity and crave design that evokes conversation. In a past life, Kasey was a graphic design student who interned at a stationery store in Greenwich, Connecticut. It was there that she worked on projects with the likes of Brenden Fraser and Flo Rida. Now, a seasoned business owner, she owns her own studio and designs for her own celebrity clients around the world. She's an envelope-pusher, a family treaty peacemaker, timeline expert and non-traditional stationery queen.

Leave her some love on InstagramFacebook, or Pinterest!

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📣 Are you ready to see a serious spike in your website traffic? 📣

Would you like to contribute to the Get Real Series? KNOW SOMEONE THAT SHOULD GIVE US THEIR TWO CENTS?

🔍 I'm looking for wedding pros that would like to be featured on Wedding Boss Life by participating in the Get Real series which is all about getting raw and real with ourselves and businesses. 

YOU get to choose the topic that resonates with you, (feel free to be 10000% YOU - no need to filter yourself with me or my website) but some ideas to help get you started:

  1. ⭐️ What narrative in the wedding industry needs to desperately be re-written? 
  2. 🔥 What lies were you told that you believed about the wedding industry or business?
  3. ✨ What has been your biggest struggle in business? How have you/do you plan to overcome it? 
  4. 💥 What do you wish more wedding pros knew?
  5. 📍 What did you have to learn the hard way?
  6. 🎀 What keeps you motivated as an entrepreneur?

If you’d like to write a guest post, FILL OUT THE FORM BELOW!


Common Courtesies Not Found in the Wedding Industry

Get Real Series

All I Need to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten

by Tiffany Learned

 

Tiffany Learned, award-winning planner and owner of Detailed Engagements, joins us on the blog today to talk about the simple set of common courtesies that have disappeared from the wedding industry.  

 
Common Courtesies Not Found in the Wedding Industry
 

“Treat others how you would like to be treated” 

A common saying we have all heard before. Simple enough, yet somehow ignored. 

What happened to people? 

A few months back I had a venue showing with a potential client who brought their planner with them- the planner showed up 30 minutes after the couple. Had to restart the tour. Kept us all there late. 

A photographer friend of mine recently told me of a couple of theirs who showed up an HOUR late for their engagement session- on a Saturday night. 

I personally ask that business is conducted over email, not text. It is now just as easy to send an email from your phone as it is to send a text. Do you know how many people think I am nuts when I tell them that? Other wedding planners, other wedding pros are AFRAID that they will lose business or have clients give them a less than 5 star review for responsiveness if they do not ‘allow’ them to text them whenever and however they want. SMH. 

I have no words.

What happened to our clients and our fellow vendors?

Guess I am old-school in my thinking. I am 36 years old (young if you ask me). Carry at least 2 phones at all time. Have a laptop in my car at all times, a desktop in my office and another in my house. I am plugged in all the time.

BUT... 

All I Need to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten

I set boundaries, create balance and always practice respect and kindness.

I respect your time, as I expect you to respect mine.

I show up early, as I expect you to be on time. 

I understand you have a life and I have reasonable expectations that you will respond in a timely fashion but I do not expect you to drop what you are doing whenever I send you an email, I expect the same from you. 

I am thankful for my team, my clients and my fellow vendors and I hope they appreciate me as well. 

I say please and thank you and smile whenever I can. 

I practice kindness in an industry that although should be filled with love can be extremely stressful. 

I treat others how I would like to treated.  

Now, here is the fun part. I challenge YOU to do the same.


 

Tiffany Learned is not only one of the most down-to-earth, tell it like it is people, but also the founder of Detailed Engagements, a wedding planning business located in Newburyport, Massachusetts. Since 2010 she has been putting her unique mark on the wedding and event industry and her passion for what she does shines through. Over the past 8 years she has won many awards and accolades but her latest accomplishment has been to open a wedding and event venue! For Tiffany this saying is not cliche -- she not only loves what she does but she does what she loves and her clients reap the rewards of this wedding industry powerhouse. 

 

Leave her some love on InstagramFacebook, or Pinterest!

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📣 Are you ready to see a serious spike in your website traffic? 📣

Would you like to contribute to the Get Real Series? KNOW SOMEONE THAT SHOULD GIVE US THEIR TWO CENTS?

🔍 I'm looking for wedding pros that would like to be featured on Wedding Boss Life by participating in the Get Real series which is all about getting raw and real with ourselves and businesses. 

YOU get to choose the topic that resonates with you, (feel free to be 10000% YOU - no need to filter yourself with me or my website) but some ideas to help get you started:

  1. ⭐️ What narrative in the wedding industry needs to desperately be re-written? 
  2. 🔥 What lies were you told that you believed about the wedding industry or business?
  3. ✨ What has been your biggest struggle in business? How have you/do you plan to overcome it? 
  4. 💥 What do you wish more wedding pros knew?
  5. 📍 What did you have to learn the hard way?
  6. 🎀 What keeps you motivated as an entrepreneur?

If you’d like to write a guest post, FILL OUT THE FORM BELOW!


3 Big Fat Lies About Starting a Wedding Business

Get Real Series

The Lies We Believe When Launching a Wedding Business

by Jackie Curb

 

Jackie Curb, owner of J. Curb Events Planning + Design Co.,  joins us on the blog today to talk about 3 of the most common misconceptions when you are in the first year of your career or during the launch of a new wedding business. 

 
3 Big Fat Lies We Believe in Business
 

I Can Do It on My Own

I’m not someone who is known for asking for help...OK that’s putting it mildly. Unless having help is absolutely required to whatever I am trying to do - I’d rather just do it myself. It’s not that I don’t like having help. It’s just a natural reflex. I’m going to bet that most of you, just like me, started your own business because you knew it was the best chance for achieving your dream salary while doing something you love & being your own boss. Newsflash, there are going to be bumps along the road - especially in the beginning. Don’t let you temporary pride get in the way of long-lasting success. For me, this meant giving myself permission to accept help from others.

3 Lies We Believe When Starting a Wedding Business

When I started my business a year ago, I had some lofty goals for revenue and in turn what I would be able to pay myself. Enter speed bump...rather than being able to match my salary as I had expected when I left my day job at the end of 2017, I was only able to do about half. If I had insisted on being able to match my previous salary and taken on a part-time job (which I almost did) to fill in the gaps, my business would have suffered. Instead, my husband was willing to make the sacrifice of a lower combined income in order to support my journey.

To be clear, this wasn’t done in a will-nilly fashion. If you are asking your family or partner to support a financial commitment and/or deficit - be sure you are willing and able to give them 100% or more in return. You are asking them to sacrifice so be sure you are willing to step up and make achieving results a priority.

While your situation may be very different from mine, I would be willing to bet that there’s someone in your life who would be willing to make a sacrifice to see you succeed. If you find yourself at a crossroads of burdening yourself further or allowing a (willing & able) loved one or friend to bear a portion of your load - accept their offer. Your success is not diminished by being supported by those around you. I challenge you to find a successful entrepreneur who claims to have done it completely on their own.

My Business is Impervious to Basic Market Principles

Real talk - this is something that I see throughout wedding business forums. Let me make something fine crystal glass clear - having good ideas or lots of creativity is not enough. Just because you are the “only” person providing your specific brand of {insert service here} does NOT mean that you will be successful.

If you think that you can enter any market and not take into account the population density, number of weddings happening in the given geographic area (I didn’t), and average wedding budget - you are SO wrong. Can you find all this information and use it to shape your business strategy? For sure. Will it be super painful if you build out your pricing structure and sales budgets without taking a peek (at a minimum) at some local statistics? Oh yeah.

The next part of this might ruffle some feathers - but here it goes. Stop complaining about new entrants and competitors copying you and/or undercutting prices. Just stop. Guess what? Less than 25% of small business last more than 10 years before closing their doors. I am willing to bet that the 75% that fail are primarily:

#3 New businesses that didn’t plan appropriately.


#2 Businesses that started with or shifted to a model focused on copying creative output of others.


#1 Businesses that had a great model and product but spun off course chasing a new entrant or copycat.

It would be ridiculous for a business in any other industry to use these excuses and the same applies to the wedding industry. Yes, you have a creative business with a personal brand. Yes, when you start to advertise there is a good chance someone will decide they can do it cheaper or better.

YOU are responsible for keeping your finger on the pulse of your market, how it changes, and how this affects your business.

YOU are responsible for building a unique selling proposition (that isn’t easily copied). YOU are responsible for attracting clients.

YOU are responsible for presenting your business to prospective clients in such a way that they clearly understand your value over the competition.

I’m Going to Achieve “Work-Life Balance”

This is NOT A REAL THING.

If you don’t absolutely LOVE the subject matter of whatever small business you have already started or are thinking about starting - DON’T DO IT! I’ve realized that the real magic of owning my own business is that I got to pick what my days were made up of. Sure, there’s the operational buckets that everything falls into; but the subject matter is something that I am crazy about - weddings and special events. If you aren’t over the moon about doing what you do at least 75% of the time because the big picture just doesn’t excite you - it’s time for a serious review of what you have going on.

Untold Lies of Starting a Business

Why?

Because you are the cornerstone for everything in your business. If you are bore, burnt out, or feel burdened by the demands of day to day operations - your business has a much greater chance of failing. This is especially true in a very high touch, highly personal industry like hospitality; specifically weddings and special events.

Sure, we can all set time aside to focus on the other things in our lives but if you are feeling “put out” by having to deal with a business matter during scheduled “off” time - you will never be happy as an entrepreneur.

If you are thinking about or have already started a small business in the wedding industry - be sure to watch out for these 3 lies when planning or reviewing your strategy. There’s no obstacle to success other than yourself. Be a creative, solution oriented business owner instead of focusing on the things that simply don’t matter for your long term success.

Remember, LOVE whatever your diving into and be READY to take responsibility for every bucket of your business. YOU are the only obstacle to your success and have control over your choices and your business.


Jackie Curb is the owner and lead planner/designer at J. Curb Events Planning + Design Co. in Stephenville, TX. She opened her business in March 2017 and graduated with her MBA in December of the same year. Jackie has been in the wedding and event industry for just over five years and enjoys designing unique decor and guest experiences for her clients. She is a adamant supporter of women in business and encourages all people to pursue the true freedom provided by being an entrepreneur. 

Leave her some love on InstagramFacebook, or Pinterest!

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📣 Are you ready to see a serious spike in your website traffic? 📣

Would you like to contribute to the Get Real Series? KNOW SOMEONE THAT SHOULD GIVE US THEIR TWO CENTS?

🔍 I'm looking for wedding pros that would like to be featured on Wedding Boss Life by participating in the Get Real series which is all about getting raw and real with ourselves and businesses. 

YOU get to choose the topic that resonates with you, (feel free to be 10000% YOU - no need to filter yourself with me or my website) but some ideas to help get you started:

  1. ⭐️ What narrative in the wedding industry needs to desperately be re-written? 
  2. 🔥 What lies were you told that you believed about the wedding industry or business?
  3. ✨ What has been your biggest struggle in business? How have you/do you plan to overcome it? 
  4. 💥 What do you wish more wedding pros knew?
  5. 📍 What did you have to learn the hard way?
  6. 🎀 What keeps you motivated as an entrepreneur?

If you’d like to write a guest post, FILL OUT THE FORM BELOW!


Enthusiastically Embracing Your Failures

Get Real Series

Why It Is Okay to Fail

by Brianne Hultzman

 

When something difficult or painful happens, always look to see what it makes possible that wouldn't have otherwise been possible. Like a new adventure, a closer friendship, or chocolate in your peanut butter. Everything makes you better.

Brianne Hultzman, owner of Hultzman Photography, joins us on the blog today to talk about why instead of dreading failure and mistakes in both our business and personal lives, we should be embracing our mishaps with open arms. 

 
Enthusiastically Embracing Your Failures
 

Failure.

It is such a scary word. But what makes it scary? What is it about the word “failure” that makes us cringe when we hear it? 

Well, let’s face it. The word failure itself means a lack of success. And for an entrepreneur like myself, the last thing I want is to be unsuccessful at anything I do. As an entrepreneur, you go through these crazy obstacles so that you can be successful. You have your wins and have your losses. You hit your milestones but made your mistakes along the way. 

To be completely honest, before a couple months ago, I was SO afraid of failing. Why?

Easy. 

I’m a stay at home mom trying to run a full-time business during nap times. I was overwhelmed to the point of throwing in the towel and giving up my dream of making photography my career. But then it hit me. The last thing I want is to be considered a “failure.” So after thinking about it long and hard, I came to a realization...

Why failing is actually great for your business

FAILURE IS A MINDSET

What I didn’t realize at that time, is that no one was considering me as a failure. All that everyone saw was a girl trying to run her own photography business. No one, other than my husband, saw the number of hours I plugged away creating content, editing, and making my website look all fancy. 

Failure is a mindset. You control whether or not you want to be considered a failure.

Have you ever heard of a self-fulfilling prophecy? If you think you are going to be successful and work hard towards it you will be successful. That goes with failure too. It’s important to remember that you need to keep pushing along, even if you feel like you are or going to be a failure. But I promise you, you are not.

DON’T FEEL DEFEATED BY SETBACKS…

Setbacks, oh goodness where do I start? The best way I can describe this is by giving you an example. For instance, think of it like you are driving to get groceries another town away. There is a traffic jam on the highway, so it is taking a little bit longer to get to the grocery store. That is a setback, not a failure. Setbacks are nothing more than a “traffic jam” that takes a little bit longer than you thought it would get where you are going. But in the end, just like a traffic jam, it clears up, and you get back on the road! Don’t feel defeated by a setback, it does not mean you are a failure.

MISTAKES ARE NOT FAILING. MISTAKES ARE JUST THAT, MISTAKES

Enthusiastically Embrace Failure

I promise you, you are going to make mistakes along the way. It is inevitable and bound to happen. Back to the driving example, you took a wrong turn, you made a mistake. That’s totally ok because you can take a U-turn or K-turn, turn back around and get back to where you are going! Sometimes when you made that wrong turn, you drove quite a bit before you realized you took a wrong turn. But like I said, that is OK! It is just a mistake. Mistakes are not failing. Mistakes are just that, mistakes. At the end of the day, you learn from those mistakes and move on.

IT IS OKAY TO FAIL

So the project you were working on end up being unsuccessful. You put all of this work and effort into something that didn’t pay off. It’s rough, especially when you put your whole heart and soul into it. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

It is OKAY to fail.

Let me repeat that again, it is OKAY to fail.

Why?

Because opportunities stem from failure and that is when the real growth happens. There are always going to be setbacks and mistakes, but you will ALWAYS find your way around it. Those are not defeats, and you are NOT a failure. 

I could probably go on for days talking about this subject. But I’ll keep this ending short and sweet for you.

Everything is going to be okay. On this entrepreneurial journey, you’ll have setbacks, you’ll have mistakes, and sometimes be unsuccessful. Oh, but you will thrive.

Those setbacks, mistakes, and failures are nothing more fuel that will fire your drive to be the best that you can be. You will push through it all, and will truly be successful. 

Brianne Hultzman is the creative genius behind Brianne Hultman Photography, a photography studio specializing in weddings, maternity, and couples that serves Western and Upstate, NY. Growing up, Brianne always had a point and shoot camera by her side so that she would never miss a moment of what was going on around her. Nowadays, things haven't changed a whole lot! She turned her hobby into a profession in 2016 and has never looked back! 

Leave her some love on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest!

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📣 Are you ready to see a serious spike in your website traffic? 📣

Would you like to contribute to the Get Real Series? KNOW SOMEONE THAT SHOULD GIVE US THEIR TWO CENTS?

🔍 I'm looking for wedding pros that would like to be featured on Wedding Boss Life by participating in the Get Real series which is all about getting raw and real with ourselves and businesses. 

YOU get to choose the topic that resonates with you, (feel free to be 10000% YOU - no need to filter yourself with me or my website) but some ideas to help get you started:

  1. ⭐️ What narrative in the wedding industry needs to desperately be re-written? 
  2. 🔥 What lies were you told that you believed about the wedding industry or business?
  3. ✨ What has been your biggest struggle in business? How have you/do you plan to overcome it? 
  4. 💥 What do you wish more wedding pros knew?
  5. 📍 What did you have to learn the hard way?
  6. 🎀 What keeps you motivated as an entrepreneur?

If you’d like to write a guest post, FILL OUT THE FORM BELOW!

 
 

Bippity-Boppity-Boo: Demystifying the "Day Of" Illusion

Get Real Series

5 Reasons Why Day Of Coordinators are Misunderstood

by Karen Hirsh

Bippity Boppity Boo

Let's be honest for a hot second. Wedding planners are probably the absolute closest thing a bride or groom will ever get to a fairy godmother. Unfortunately, the one major difference is that magical wand isn't for sale on Amazon Prime and planners need a little bit more time to work their magic...

Bippity. Boppity. Boo.

Karen Hirsh, co-owner of Perfectly Celebrated, joins us on the blog today to talk about how frustrating it can be when engaged couples actually think that "day-of" is a real service! 

 
Day Of Coordination Demystified
 

1. Let’s start with the title.

Day of Coordinators is a misnomer in and of itself. We don’t just show up on the day of your wedding and wave a magic wand (that would be awesome, and if you can find someone with a wand, go for it!). Our work begins months in advance – getting our names in front of you, telling you how and why you should hire us, and talking to you about what we can do to help you on your big day.

2. Once you have signed a contract with us (because we are professionals), then the real work begins!

5 Reasons Day Of Coordinators are Misunderstood

About a month before your wedding, we will sit down with you to get all up in your business and make note of every last detail of what you want your day to look like. We’ll then create a detailed timeline for your wedding day. This is SO important. Let me say that again…this is SO important! There are a lot of things that need to happen in a relatively short amount of time and organization is key.

3. We like to attend your rehearsal (with timeline in hand) to meet your wedding party and family and go over that timeline.

We want them to know who we are and what we look like. On the day of your wedding, we will be the contact people and we want everyone to come to us with any questions or concerns.  Think of us as an invisible force field!

4. Now, you may think that your MOH or maybe Aunt Suzie can handle this job.

No Such Thing As Day Of

Your MOH wants to have fun on your wedding day, and Aunt Suzie doesn’t think you will mind if something is done a little differently. This is why a professional trumps a friend or family member. We will do things EXACTLY how you want them to be done. 

5. We decorate, organize, coordinate, hustle, cheer you on, help you when you need it, stand back when you don’t.

The typical things will be taken care of but at the end of the night, when you are reminiscing about your wonderful wedding day, you won’t be aware that one of your bridesmaids had a broken shoe (because we had superglue), or that your cake almost toppled over (because we adjusted the dowel rod inside), or that your mom spilled wine on her dress (we took her to the ladies room and got it out). And that’s exactly how it should be. And that’s why we love our job. We are there to make sure your wedding day is a dream come true. 

So, call us Day Of Coordinators if you want, but we are much more than that.


Karen Hirsh is the co-owner of Perfectly Celebrated, Ltd., an event coordination company serving Northeast Ohio. Karen and her business partner, Gail Bisesi, started their company after Karen’s daughter was married several years ago. Gail was the photographer, Karen was stressed out about all the things that had to be done on her daughter’s wedding day and they have formed the perfect partnership. They each have over 20 years of coordination experience with both corporate and private events.

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📣 Are you ready to see a serious spike in your website traffic? 📣

Would you like to contribute to the Get Real Series? KNOW SOMEONE THAT SHOULD GIVE US THEIR TWO CENTS?

🔍 I'm looking for wedding pros that would like to be featured on Wedding Boss Life by participating in the Get Real series which is all about getting raw and real with ourselves and businesses. 

YOU get to choose the topic that resonates with you, (feel free to be 10000% YOU - no need to filter yourself with me or my website) but some ideas to help get you started:

  1. ⭐️ What narrative in the wedding industry needs to desperately be re-written? 
  2. 🔥 What lies were you told that you believed about the wedding industry or business?
  3. ✨ What has been your biggest struggle in business? How have you/do you plan to overcome it? 
  4. 💥 What do you wish more wedding pros knew?
  5. 📍 What did you have to learn the hard way?
  6. 🎀 What keeps you motivated as an entrepreneur?

If you’d like to write a guest post, FILL OUT THE FORM BELOW!

The Best Free Business Investment You Can Make

Get Real Series

The One Area You Should be Investing In, But Aren't

by Shivani Kothari

Not all of us have been in business since the days that dinos roamed the Earth or have money trees growing in our front yards. As an entrepreneur, it can be utterly exhausting and often disheartening knowing that you should be investing time and resources into your business but never quite know where to begin.

Shivani Kothari, owner of VaniKo Designs Weddings and Events, joins us on the blog today to talk about the best business advice she ever received.

 
The Best Free Business Investment You Can Make
 

I’m so happy to be joining you here on the blog with all the other wonderful wedding bosses! I would say I’m still fairly new to the wedding industry, but no matter what industry I’ve been in in the past whether it’s in a corporate setting or being an entrepreneur, I have to say I’ve always received this one piece of advice that I really try to consciously practice and hold close to my heart.

Invest in Relationships

Best Business Investment

As an entrepreneur, we’re always thinking about what to invest in financially in our business, but I think it’s just as important to think about how to create and invest in relationships. I used to always think -  yeah, I go to networking events, I’m networking! I’m creating relationships. It is SO much more than that, especially in our digital age where meeting someone once and shaking their hand doesn’t really cut it anymore. 

If you don’t believe me, think about how many times you’ve had this conversation:

“Hi! How are you?”

“Good! How are you?” 

Trust me, I’m 100% guilty too! But, I’m trying to stop doing that because making human connections requires giving a little more of yourself and sometimes even showing your vulnerability. Instead, how about telling someone how your day is going, or what you’re looking forward to, or how you had a rough morning but it turned around! Be real and genuine. It goes far.

Some things I’m currently practicing doing to help grow my own relationships are:

1. Sending a note.

Every time I meet someone new, if I happen to exchange contact information, I try to reach out to them and send them an email within a day or two. This requires being a good listener, including what I enjoyed about our conversation in the note, and seeing what common ground we share or how this relationship could prosper from this moment forward.

Invest in Your Business for Free

2. Leaving your expectations at home.

I think it’s pretty natural to size someone up the first time you meet them but if you think about it - there’s really so many other things that go into your opinion that are completely out of your control like the type of event (professional vs. social) you met at, are guests seated or strolling, etc. that may be causing the other person to act a little different than normal. Maybe they’re nervous, maybe they’re having a bad day, maybe you’re having a bad day, the reasons are endless! I try to walk into every room with a clear head and really listen to what people have to say and I find a few things I really like about them. I’ve been surprised with this one too many times to count. 

3. Separating your busies.

Being an entrepreneur in the wedding industry means doing #allthethings which usually results in some type of multitasking and being busy all the time. If I have a call or meeting scheduled, but I know I really need to be making a floor plan and there’s zero downsides to rescheduling or postponing the meeting, I go ahead and do just that. One of my great bosses once told me, the other person won’t remember when you cancelled a meeting, but they’ll always remember when they came in for a meeting and you weren’t paying attention because you were trying to get your emails out. Both will keep you busy, but give whatever and whoever the attention it deserves.

At the end of the day, it’s partly what you do, but it’s a lot about who you get to do it with. Pay attention to people who energize you, show compassion, and have that “got your back” mentality. Those are the ones who you’ll want in your inner circle and when you’re ready to hire clients, who doesn’t want to be around a group of uplifting people like that?

To talk more on this or for any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me even if it’s just to say hello at info@vanikodesigns.com!


Shivani is the owner and lead planner of VaniKo Designs Weddings and Events based out of Novi, Michigan. She plans weddings and events for young professionals, conducts private planning sessions, and manages The VaniKo Shop, an online store with downloadable planning resources. She really aims at making the planning process transparent and as easy as possible for her clients from start to finish.

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📣 Are you ready to see a serious spike in your website traffic? 📣

Would you like to contribute to the Get Real Series? KNOW SOMEONE THAT SHOULD GIVE US THEIR TWO CENTS?

🔍 I'm looking for wedding pros that would like to be featured on Wedding Boss Life by participating in the Get Real series which is all about getting raw and real with ourselves and businesses. 

YOU get to choose the topic that resonates with you, (feel free to be 10000% YOU - no need to filter yourself with me or my website) but some ideas to help get you started:

  1. ⭐️ What narrative in the wedding industry needs to desperately be re-written? 
  2. 🔥 What lies were you told that you believed about the wedding industry or business?
  3. ✨ What has been your biggest struggle in business? How have you/do you plan to overcome it? 
  4. 💥 What do you wish more wedding pros knew?
  5. 📍 What did you have to learn the hard way?
  6. 🎀 What keeps you motivated as an entrepreneur?

If you’d like to write a guest post, FILL OUT THE FORM BELOW!