Okay, so maybe we’re a bit nostalgic, but is that so wrong? Especially since we’re only a few days into 2019, and here in New Mexico, 2018 was one of Perfect Wedding Guide‘s best years yet. We had wedding shows, luncheons, and parties galore, plus relationship building, contest-throwing, giant giveaways, and more. The only way to rectify our desperate reminiscing is to start look eagerly toward our upcoming events, which we’re definitely doing, don’t get us wrong.
But before we jump ahead, we have to spend at least a moment discussing the experience of our Four Seasons Connection Luncheon that was in December of 2018. Because that’s exactly what it was — an experience. Four Season‘s unparalleled elegance, the crisp, clean air of Santa Fe, and Alena Bard LLC.‘s wisdom all combined to create a truly moving afternoon.
Lucky for us, Keara Lloyd Photography was there to capture every moment, too, from the first course to the last lingering conversation. The former being, if you can believe it, warm quail on a bed of roasted fennel salad, decorated with a complimentary beet puree, roasted almonds, and white balsamic glazed blueberries. Then came the duel entrees: slow braised short ribs with green chile mashed potato, and chorizo and macadamia roasted Chilean sea bass.
Accompanying every bite was a light and refreshing sparkling wine that prepared the palette for our team’s personal favorite, the dessert: strawberry trifle with sponge cake, vanilla and Chantilly cream. The only thing that rivaled the dessert’s sweetness was the absolute treat of hearing local wedding planner Alena Bard LLC. share her knowledge to the group of local business owners. She talked finding your purpose, holding onto it, and weaving passion and self-compassion into your business practices. We walked away feeling filled to the brim with inspiration and delectable cuisine.
The best part of being positioned between local engaged couples and the businesses who serve them is being able to spoil both parties. For our engaged couples, it’s through our giveaways, wedding shows, online tools, print guide, etc., etc., etc. And for the local wedding professionals, who work so hard to elevate and evolve Albuquerque + Santa Fe’s market, it’s through indulgent, invigorating, innovative days like this.
On Wednesday March 27th, Perfect Wedding Guide held a Networking Luncheon and Bridal Board event at the Four Hills Country Club – it was a huge success! Our main objective was to bring a group of bride-to-be’s together so they could describe just exactly what they are looking for while planning their weddings and convey it to local wedding businesses in attendance.
The brides offered some very helpful and insightful information and the local businesses asked some great questions.
We had a delicious brunch, some awesome networking time, and got to know each other better overall!
Take a look below to find details of the bridal board feedback.
Networking Luncheon & Bridal Board Feedback
What is the most important thing you are looking for when hiring a vendor? Cost quality recommendations, online reviews, personality?
It was a consensus among the brides that they valued personality, cost and quality overall.
If you are through or almost through the planning process what is the number one thing you would change if you could and why?
“I would have definitely started earlier, I feel like I started planning too late.”
What is the single most important thing a vendor can do to earn your business?
Being flexible, and having personality was very important to the brides.
“Don’t pressure the bride to book the day of a bridal show. Brides need time to critique and think about what they want before they make a decision.”
“Listen to what I have to say, vendors have lost my business because they were not listening to me.”
What turns you off about wending vendors you are interviewing?
“It shouldn’t take two weeks for you to respond to my e-mails – that’s a huge turn off for me. Be quick about responding to e-mails!”
“I had bad response to my balloon fiesta wedding and that was a turn off.”
“I had a couple vendors tell me that I was starting to plan my wedding too early.”
How many bridal shows did you attend before your wedding and how many vendors did you book from bridal show?
“I have been to 5 bridal shows so far and even though there are repeat vendors there are also always new ones as well: I have booked businesses that I have seen more then once and who made a good impression on me. For example I booked Amor ceremonies because every time I saw her at a bridal show she was so helpful with answering any questions that I had.”
How often do you use Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest to search for wedding vendors or connect with your book vendors?
Most if not all the brides said they used Pinterest frequently. One said that she uses Pinterest for ideas and also to show vendors what she wants- although some vendors she has encountered have not been open to the idea of using Pinterest.
“I would say to vendors to be open to Pinterest and also to embrace social media- If you don’t know how to use it ask someone to teach you!”
Do you get overwhelmed with the number of options offered by vendors and a set package or do you actually prefer to customize your package?
It was the agreement that the brides appreciate vendors being more flexible with their packages and options as not all packages cater to each individual bride.
What was your first and last booking?
Many of the brides said the venue was their first booking and the tuxedos will be their last. One bride stated that her dress would be her first purchase and then she would take it from there. Another bride said that her first booking would have been her venue but since she could not decide on one she moved on to booking her photographer next- honeymoon arrangements were last on her list. A wedding planner and photographer was one of the bride’s first priorities and next was the venue since that was going to be costly. Last on her list was the videographer and the outfits for the flower girl and ring bearer. I would say the overall consensus was that the venue was top priority.
What did you find to be the most beneficial when selecting your wedding cake?
It was the accord that taste and multiple options were important to the couples and also that selecting a cake was little more involved then they had originally anticipated.
“Taste was important but we also liked having options. We wanted to have a lot of options. A lot of options are helpful because we don’t really know what kind of cake we like.”
What are the guys passionate about in the wedding planning process?
“Just being a part of the whole thing.”
“It is her wedding – but it’s also pretty fun for me.”
“Tagging along- and enjoying every minute of it.”
One groom was passionate about the music that they would play at their reception. Another groom said the he had been around a lot of weddings were there was a lot of frustration. He stated that he wanted his day to be different and he thought it was of great importance that they have a chance to enjoy each other and the ones they love because he knows the wedding will pass by quickly.
What can we do to get you to go with live music – opposed to a dj service?
One bride said that if a live musician were to emphasize how special live music is and how it is in a sense deeper then pre-recorded music because it is happening right in the moment that it may sway her decision to book a live musician.
Want do you look for when decided on a place to have a rehearsal dinner?
One bride was going to have her reception at the restaurant where they first met because it had sentimental value.
It was the consensus that brides were looking for somewhere that could accommodate a large party was cost effective, relaxed and budget friendly.
One bride had a lot of out of town guests so she wanted to give them a taste of New Mexico by eating somewhere with New Mexican cuisine.
Top items for bridal registry
Kitchen and cookware items were mentioned more then once. Brides also mentioned registering for small appliances, linens and food processors. One bride said her and her fiancé have been living together for 3 years so they pretty much already had everything so they want to set up a furniture and honeymoon registry having everyone pitch in what they can.
Are you going to do the first look or wait until the reception to see each other for the first time?
One bride said she was going to do the first look even though it is not as traditional. She sees doing the first look as being more calming. She wants to have the time to see each other privately so she is not a balling mess while walking down the isle and also for moral support. She said that her photographer and videographer would be there for the first to look.
Another bride was going to wait because she felt that moment would be very special not only seeing each other dressed up but it would also be her first time seeing her fiancé who is in the military in uniform for the first time.
In terms of venue do you like there to be an all inclusive package where there is someone to help you in all aspects?
It was the consensus that is nice to have a package available but it is also nice to have the option to pick who you want to work with as well. One bride thought that for destination weddings it is nice to have someone there to help you along with getting everything in order. Another bride stated that because she is Hispanic and her groom is Vietnamese it is important that they are able to accommodate their different cultures in terms of food so it is important for them to pick who they are going to work with so they can mix things up.
What do you look for when picking bridal party gifts?
The brides wanted something personalized, useful, and something reminiscent of the wedding. One bride said she appreciates gifts that are also age friendly.
The present should be like a birthday gift – something they would really like and utilize.
A big thank you to all the brides and businesses that participated in the Networking Luncheon and Bridal Board.
Without you all this event would simply not possible!
Visit nm.pwg.com for more on everything wedding and a huge directory of wedding professionals near you.
Shauna and I had a great day time at our wedding professionals networking event at the Desert Greens Golf Course. Every single seat was filled and our the bridal board gave very valuable information to the attendees. We would like to thank all of our sponsors who worked so well together to make this event a success (listed below). Photos by Bryan’s Photography are posted below. The video of our luncheon will be posted soon, stay tuned!
Feedback from luncheon attendees:
“The input that was given by the panel was very informative” – Better Health
“Another great luncheon, Thank you” – Dave Doyle of Abundant Blessings
“You always have a great facility for the luncheons. It was very informative and well done event.” – Naomi Romero of Garcia’s Tents
“I learned that what is important to the bride is to be personal and take an interest in them. Please have more bridal boards, this was a great luncheon.” – ABC Cake Shop & Bakery
“I appreciated hearing how important relationships are between vendors and brides.” – ABQ Trolley Co.
“We enjoyed the interaction with the bridal board. We were able to learn about qualities that the brides are looking for in vendors.” – Hyatt Tamaya
“I loved hearing what the brides had to say about personality and quality.” – Inn at Rio Rancho
“The reviews by the bridal board will help us so much. We learned that everyone working in the company needs to polite and joyful.” – Akshay Patel of Simply Décor & Events
“I enjoyed learning what turns brides off when it comes to wedding vendors.” –Rancho de Corrales Event Center
“The bridal board was very informative. I learned that they want people who are sincere.” – Patricia Reyes of Just Love Songs
Every year Perfect Wedding Guide puts on two networking luncheons for the wedding professionals around the Albuquerque and Santa Fe area. Our upcoming luncheon will be at the Desert Greens Golf Course on January 11, 2012 from 11:30am-1pm. This luncheon will feature a bridal board, consisting of ten couples that have planned or are planning a wedding. Wedding vendors will have the chance to learn what is going through the couples minds when selecting wedding vendors for their wedding.
If you know of anyone that has planned or are planning a wedding and might be interested in participating in our bridal board, please have them contact Melanie at 505-797-2749 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For participating, these couples will receive gift bags filled with donations from multiple business around Albuquerque as well as a complimentary lunch at the luncheon.
If you are interested in attending our Luncheon as a wedding professional, please click here to download the rsvp form.
Thank you to our following sponsors of our January 2012 luncheon:
Perfect Wedding Guide hosts three networking luncheons per year for local wedding businesses. This allows businesses to learn valuable information on the wedding industry and connect with other wedding businesses. On July 27, 2011 we hosted our 2nd luncheon of the year at the Courtyard by Marriott in Santa Fe. For this luncheon we hosted a Bridal Board which consisted of 12 brides and grooms who were in the process of planning a wedding. We asked the Bridal Board questions that had been given by wedding businesses. A list of these questions along with the paraphrased answers are below. This allowed business to understand what brides and grooms are thinking and what selling tactics are working or are not very effective. There was also a fabulous lunch was served by the Courtyard and dessert provided by Treehouse Pastry Shop & Cafe. We had a great time and, as always, a big thanks goes out to our following sponsors:
Below are some of the questions and answers received at the luncheon:
1.What is the most important thing you are looking for when hiring a vendor?Personality is important. Quality at a good cost. Online reviews and recommendations. Low travel fees to out of area weddings (rural areas of New Mexico). Personal touch. Being able to work with diverse range of clients (plus size dresses, etc.). Having a passion for what you do.
2. How many bridal shows did you attend before your wedding and how many vendors did you book from bridal shows? Booked some vendors at bridal shows. Brides followed up with vendors they were interested in. Out of area brides don’t have access to bridal shows so they rely on the internet for planning. Some brides do not like a lot of follow up after shows (lots of phone calls and redundant emails).
3. Did you hire a wedding planner? If so, when during your planning process did you decide you needed a planner? If not, why? Wants to be in control however the fiancé (groom) wanted a wedding planner to relieve stress from the bride. Some brides don’t want a planner because they want to get to know their vendors on a personal level.
4. How important is photography to you and what do you look for in a photographer? Want to capture unique moments. One bride said that there’s 3 things that are the most important on your wedding date: the ring, the man, and a good photographer. Some brides like the photojournalistic style, creativity, and not standard poses.
5. What are some tips you would give to vendors trying to contact you and other brides? Put pricing on brochures. Most brides haven’t received a lot of calls (direct marketing). Wants referrals from professional to professional. Email is best form of contact for most brides. Do not send weekly emails with the same information and from the same vendor. Don’t be pushy with your sales brides need time to decide and are overwhelmed with the planning process. Don’t use the line “must book now cause the date is popular”. Brides want information all upfront. One bride mentioned that she does like at least one follow up phone call to check in (don’t be pushing though). Some of the brides said go DO bridal shows and make sure you have the owner or manager in the booth. Brides don’t like discussing their wedding with staff members that will most likely not be involved. For direct marketing, make sure your calls are personalized and are good for scheduling appointments. Make sure you send personal emails (to just them not to an entire bridal database)– they will more likely get opened.