Wedding season is finally drawing to a close — much to my relief. Since spring, friends and family have dragged me to weddings where I sat with a glass of wine and stewed in my own misery of being single. For all those brides — and sometimes their grooms — the months leading up to the wedding were perhaps almost as miserable as I was at their actual wedding. Planning for a wedding can be a nightmare, turning normally sweet young women into “bridezillas.” To make planning weddings easier, independent and corporate based wedding planners can take almost all the pressure of the planning off of the bride. The difficult part is finding a great wedding planner who not only fits into the bride’s budget, but also will give the wedding couple their ceremony and the reception the attention it deserves.
To help brides find the best wedding planner based on their individual needs, a new startup called WeddingLovely helps showcase the best small and independent wedding vendors and helps them compete against the huge, poor-quality corporations with massive advertising budgets. Brides and other vendors can use WeddingLovely to find the perfect wedding planner, which can often be difficult using traditional search engines. The founder of WeddingLovely, Tracy Osborn, said that being able to accomodate these independent business owners is important because they are “amazing to work with — they’re able to give personal attention and detail to the elements of a wedding that the big corporations lack, plus their quality is usually leaps and bounds over any corporation’s designs.” Osborn says she wants engaged couples to enjoy the process of the wedding, and work with amazing vendors to make their dreams of a beautiful and stress-free wedding day come true.
WeddingLovely is a great source for brides to find not only wedding planners, but other essentials needed for planning their ceremony and reception. Within WeddingLovely, users can browse the WeddingPlannerLove (which recently launched and lists 23 wedding planners and coordinators) directory for planners, or look for invitation vendors using WeddingInviteLove (which lists 359 wedding invitation vendors). WeddingInviteLove was actually the primary concept behind WeddingLovely — Osborn has been working on this directory since January of 2011. She was inspired to start WeddingLovely after initially beginning a service in 2010 that allowed couples to build their own wedding invitations because she recognized that it was “difficult to find the really awesome professional wedding invitation vendors.” Building on the concept of WeddingInviteLove, Osborn launched WeddingPlannerLove just a few weeks ago — and will soon be launching a directory for wedding photographers called WeddingPhotoLove. The separate directories are designed so couples can find the services they need, as they want to look for them. “An engaged couple doesn’t search for everything at once — they search for their planner, and then their venue, and then their invitations,” Osborne explained. She also told me that she’s planning on launching a directory every month underneath the WeddingLovely umbrella. WeddingCakeLove, anyone?
While the WeddingLovely directories are so far just that, soon vendors will have the ability to connect with each other as well as their clients right within the service. The idea is to create a community around weddings, while making it easy for couples to find the best services they need for their wedding. Not only do these types of directories help promote independent vendors, they relieve them from the pain of trying to battle SEO and search algorithms that make it difficult for potential clients to find them. Which, of course, means that couples won’t be misled by paid search results or the SEO power of a corporation, which overshadows the search results for independent and more local vendors. WeddingLovely does offer the ability for its vendors to promote themselves within the service, including advertising profile branding with a $25 monthly fee. However, for all vendors — and, of course, all potential clients — WeddingLovely is available for free.
As the wedding season winds down and the holidays approach, even more couples will be thinking about getting married next year. If you’re a bride to be or know one, WeddingLovely should be at the front of your checklist — especially since even more directories will be added over the next few months. Visit WeddingLovely.com to browse the WeddingInviteLove and WeddingPlannerLove directory, or check out the WeddingLovely Blog for a little inspiration.