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AlphaBride: The Next Big Thing in Affordable Weddings?

AlphaBride: The Next Big Thing in Affordable Weddings?

On our constant quest for all things fab, fun, and affordable, an ingenious disrupter by the name of Sterlin Barkley came to our local group of wedding professionals.  Sterlin is the founder of AlphaBride.com, an online company that is all about "redirecting the cost of love."  

Here's the quick list of highlights from why I think AlphaBride has great promise in the industry:

  1. Legit Need -- There is a solid niche in the weddings industry to offer event professionals alternative choices to advertising on overcrowded and convoluted websites or buying leads that largely go unanswered.  For example:  AlphaBride will allow enrolled vendors to receive notice when, say, a bride needs videography services.  That video vendor - and others included - can then decide what deal he is willing to offer the bride.  She not only sees his public company info + goods, but she also privately gets to sees the bottom line deal from that video pro.  
  2. Convenience -- Based on the prior highlight, the process should provide some sweet comparisons and convenience for the seeking couple.
  3. Smart -- With the current business model of AlphaBride.com, wedding professionals don't have to pay until they book a wedding. 
  4. Transparency -- Interested vendors will be able to see what discounts are being given by others, so it makes it simpler for them to determine at what rate they can throw their hat in for the intended wedding.  As the great Sherlock Holmes alluded, "The game is afoot!"

At the time of writing this blog post, AlphaBride is in beta mode.  For the non-geek-inclined, it means their tech product is in testing or sampling mode with its target audience.  Sterlin and his team are currently asking for wedding planners in the Atlanta area with interest in learning more to join them at the Atlanta Launch Party; simply email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject line: "ABXO - Atlanta Launch Event."  Sterlin, we can't wait to see what comes next!  Keep us posted.  

Alrighty, Bargainistas, Beaus and Pros, please feel free to leave comments and let our crew know if you have any questions!  

Until next time... Happy planning!

Lauren

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Lessons from the Cake Boss Buddy V.

Lessons from the Cake Boss Buddy V.

It was great meeting a modern-day culinary legend Buddy Valastro, most commonly known as The Cake Boss.  The Cake Boss, in some random case you don't know, is a hit reality TV series on TLC highlighting incredible edible art and cake engineering feats that makes millions of viewers each season (and customers of Carlo's Bakery) keep coming back for more. Meeting Buddy V. came with a great share of appreciation for the man behind the scenes.  Enjoy this fun piece with great insight from the Boss of All Cakes!

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Photo credit:  Get Wed for Less LLC

Never too successful to be able to relate.

Many "successes" lose touch with reality and become less helpful to those they are to serve once they reach a certain height.  I just listened to a clip in which 2016 Presidential Candidate Donald Trump said he had a "small loan" of $1 million from his father to start investing... in Manhattan!  Talk about out-of-touch!  (Here's the clip: http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/26/politics/donald-trump-small-loan-town-hall/)   

Sorry, Don, most of us can't relate.  I love that Buddy V. talked candidly about how he did the bridal shows, advertising in magazines and everything he could to make a name for himself.  Now, he's the Cake Boss and still super relevant to the hungry entrepreneur... maybe because he didn't start out with a small $1 million injection? 

Not everyone will be your biggest fan.

Buddy V. has millions of fans watching him and his crew on TV and following him on social media and online.  I loved hearing him say, "One of the most important things [to know is] you're not going to make everyone happy."  Gosh!  How many of us are recovering people pleasers or somehow pride ourselves on bending over backwards for, quite honestly, the undeserving host.  Well, it was a breath of fresh air to hear from one so well-loved, so "arrived," that this is a critical key to remember.  Be true to your brand, pros out there! 

Boss?  Always.  Savant?  Meh... Maybe Not.

Hitting on the realness and humility of The Boss, he commented, "Everybody always knows something more than we do."  "Everybody?" Yes, everybody.  Some of us are afraid to ask for help - been there!  We can't go it alone because as much as we try to be "know-it-alls," we don't know everything and trying to be the Jack/Jill of All Trades ends up hurting us and our businesses in the process.  He continued, "Surround yourself with A+ people.  It allows us to do a better job.  

I love the quote, "Everyone is superior in that I may learn from him."  There is always a lesson to glean.  Buddy V. reminded me once again during our session.

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Photo credit:  Get Wed for Less LLC.  Event:  Your Wedding Experience, Atlanta.

Until next time...

Happy planning!

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David Tutera Talks Wedding Trends, Dishes Advice

David Tutera Talks Wedding Trends, Dishes Advice

Our event of the summer had to be David Tutera's inaugural wedding experience event, marking his triumphant entrance into the bridal show arena.  Buddy V, The Cake Boss, was there, too, and we know why America loves him!  There were quite a few golden nuggets we took away from listening to Mr. Tutera himself.  Here, we'll give you our Top 3 Tutera Trends-n-Tidbits!

1) On Creating a Wedding Uniquely You

David mentioned that he always hears from brides that they want their wedding to be unique.  However, as he listens to them explain their vision, it's usually the same boring stuff!  David encouraged the wedding pros sitting in on this catwalk-side chat to really present some out of the box ideas.  How about you have the reception BEFORE the ceremony?  What we got from this segment: Think differently if you want something different from the norm and don't be afraid to try something new - as long as it's YOU!

2) Real Deal on Room in the Budget for Fabulous Story-Telling

He said what really makes a wedding "successful" is to tell the couple's story.  David's words shocked me when I heard him say it.  He said that he can tell the same story with a wedding budget of $30,000 as one with a budget of $1,000,000!  Of course,  $30K is the lower end for Mr. Tutera's repertoire, but, alas, that's great news!  Interestingly, this made me think of one of my favorite chefs in Miami.  Chef Eric's brand drew me in because he focuses on just that - telling the story of the couple in love through how he showcases everything from the setup to the food design.  

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Photos Credit (L and R):  Healthy Gourmet Miami, RSVP Events Miami

3) Battle Royale:  Sparkles v. Lace

If you're like me, then you have been seeing lace at every turn... on more than just wedding dresses.  Well, according to Sir David, his bridal line Mon Cheri was talking lace four years ago!  Sir David said out with the lace and in with the sparkles for wedding dresses!  This world-renowned trendsetter in all things wedding told us Mon Cheri is designing and showcasing "sparkling, more glamour, plunging" necklines.  We also noted subtly plunging sweetheart necklines on a couple of his bride models as they walked about Your Wedding Experience.  Needless to say, I loved seeing the gown on my fave summer bride Jessica shown here; I let her know, "David would be proud!" *Wink Wink*

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All in all, the "Wedding Experience" was wonderful.  It tastefully captured the Tutera brand, allowed many of us to get a foretaste of bridal trends, and connected me with some phenom fellow pros in the wedding industry.  Do you have any "events of the season" you would like to share with us?  If so, please leave comments below - we would love to hear from you!  

Until next time... Happy planning!

Lauren

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