Instagram Obsessed vs Smart Consumers

Social Media is a part of our lives now like Netflix and brushing our teeth. We are use to being turned on and inspired by pictures wherever and whenever...harmless of course. However, small bits of information, photos and the non regulated flow of information on most sites, such as Instagram, is just that, a random unregulated flow of information.

When many people become engaged, such as maybe yourself, they become obsessed with all of it. And you make assumptions and draw opinions about choices and vendors, and everything under the sun because of what you have gleamed from these sites or photos. The thing is if this cumulative impression of a vendor's quality, as taken from social media and press alone, is a driving force in your decision making, you are bound to come up short a noticeable portion of the time. You are being sold

Photos are not indicative of a job well done, nor is press, nor are followers. We know our social media presence and press is not a direct by product of our success with our clients, neither is it our definition of success and it should not be yours either.  Having a consistently exciting social media presence takes time and attention, perhaps away from clients. If you are a blog or a product like a bridal gown designer that is different - social media may actually be your job, your money-maker and passion. If a company wants to be huge they will bring on additional personelle, an expense that only increases the cost of a vendor or planner or that company's volume increases. Granted we have gotten substantially better with social media so it takes significantly less brain space and time. Also, companies can purchase followers and likes, and do not think that they do not. Lastly, when some attend industry seminars, they whip out manuals, programs and brochures and follow each and every person that is also in attendance or speaking. There is nothing wrong with being wonderful with PR, in fact it is smart. A good first impression is irreplaceable but there is a mountain more to be putting above what little you gleamed from a vendors social media presence. 

Why do we post this blog when we hardly blog at all? It is because talking with clients about why they should hire some vendors over others has become a larger part of the conversation since social media, in particular Instagram, has become more prominent in our every day life.  We are all susceptible to being sold - gather information and make educated choices but do not believe everything you read or view.

You may be thinking we are hypocrites because since January we have been in print twice and had four blog posts on national sites. We also have three more weddings for print to come out prior to September of this year and three more blog posts on the horizon. Well, some of this is luck, the fact that these weddings were enough "on-trend", those clients' hired great photographs that are popular on their own, and the fact that many of these time demanding submissions were handled by those appointed to do so at the photographer studios or the photographers themselves. Oh and did I mention luck?

Some ideas to ponder...

A luxury wedding client is not looking at the larger industry media outlet listings of vendors so they are significantly less inclined to go online and review a vendor because they never joined such and such a site in the first place - the process is much ore annoying to begin with a profile you otherwise would not have made. Many would prefer to write a hand written note, perhaps send a gift, as a thank you rather than go onto a website. They also don't want to reveal their identity on such sites and don't want more spam!  Furthermore, the luxury market puts more stock in referrals than reviews, made by random people, whose taste may be different than their own. The volume of reviews online should also not be a deciding factor. 

Maybe a vendor does a kick back to the past client once they review them with five stars? Maybe if they do so a bouquet will show up at their door or another person's door, so they save reviewing the vendor until the day of their BFF's birthday so their BFF gets fresh flowers delivered to their door for free. These are all realities we have heard about and know to be a fact. You are smart - do not be sold but fluff! 

There are photos out there that are lies. Planners posting as the full planner and designer on weddings they worked on starting three or four weeks out - this is a super common one we see all the time. 

There are photos of events posted by various vendors that are not even weddings or events they have worked on. Make sure posts are very clear about what they did on such and such an event, and who did what. Taste does have value but not misleading posts, those are lies. 

Hire vendors you know in your gut are straight shooters, have engaging conversation with you rather than just ask you what you want from them because they should already know the job and be asking you thought provoking logical questions.

Do not purchase a price tag or a package - Hire a person you want to be around that is highly passionate, experienced and competent, and with whom you feel heard.  

This concludes our Saturday afternoon-wine-blog-chat. Happy Spring. 

{Insert clever photo}  Ha! 

 

 

NICOLE + TERRY | Glenmere Mansion | Hudson Valley | June 2017

Check back late Spring/early Summer as this wedding will appear in the pages of a national magazine. To be continued....

Nicole and Terry's wedding has made our blog or shall I say our "comeback to blogging"! We use to love blogging but over time it began to only take us away from our clients and real work. Yet, you've all asked, so we are responding! Besides 2017 was just a KILLER YEAR for our weddings and other events, how can we not share the love - the beautiful pictures, the stories of sentiment, the fun, the camaraderie and also, our great appreciation for the work that we do!

Nicole and Terry's wedding was off the charts, not because of its beautiful design, stellar vendor roster and exquisite venue (okay the venue is pretty stellar), but truly because of how much love and time Ashley and the staff put into this wedding with the mother of the Bride, Anita Donofrio. 

Anita came to us after meeting with seven other planners which she reminded us of very often! We don't state this to not be classy but in doing so she emphasized that our skill set was apparent at our first meeting and also, more importantly, she felt that Ashley listened to her well. That is the take way and the biggest compliment on many levels. Anita, Ashley, and Julia, truly got on like best buds and major kudos to her daughter, Bride to be, Nicole, for letting go of the reigns in order to have a less stressful year as a full time professor and let her mother have fun! She gave into the element of surprise and in the end, happy she was! It did help some that Nicole and Anita have similar tastes in terms of aesthetics. We'd say Nicole only intimately knew about a good 25% of the wedding details, as they pertained to music and her own bridal preparations. In the end Nicole, Terry, and their children had a blast. It was irrelevant that this wedding was black tie and high end. The love was felt by all and the atmosphere was relaxed, warm and magical! 

Thank you to all our wonderful vendors who are listed at the bottom of this blog post. First however, take a look at a look at the gorgeous photos below. To see more on this wedding you can also visit the Blog of The Day, formerly named Ira Lippke Studios. Photography of this Wedding + Reception was taken by Nathan Smith of The Day. 

Event Planning & Design |Ashley Douglass Events

Photography | Nathan Smith, The Day

Videography | Clark & Walker

Venue | Glenmere Mansion

Catering | Laurence Craig Catering

Florist | Fleurs NYC

Tent | The Greenwich Tent Company

Band | Ground Control from Elan Artists

Cake | Lulu Cake Boutique

Lighting | Social Event Decor

Hair & Makeup | Arleigh Cole Hair and Makeup

Gown | A Little Something White

Invitations & Day-of Paper | Social Alchemy 

Rentals | Party Rental LTD

Rentals | Nuage Designs

Rentals | La Tavola

 

Extra Set of Hands, By Julia D'Agostino

Extra Set of Hands, By Julia D'Agostino

In just a few short weeks our Summer Intern Julia D'Agostino goes back to complete her BFA in Photography and Journalism from Loyola University Maryland. Below is her Summer's end blog, that is enough to make me cry! She is always welcomed back, and speaking of which, we hope to see her still, virtually, this Winter season. Without further adieu.... "Extra Set of Hands"

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