From the monthly archives:

February 2010

With the sheer tonnage of wedding-related resources and sites on the Web, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and find yourself spinning in circles. When we were planning our wedding, it was my job to be “technology guru” and find all the possible techy wedding resources that could help us, and, believe me, there’s an ungodly amount of stuff (and lots of it not so helpful).

However, amidst all the noise, I did find a great wedding forum site that’s really focused on helping out both brides/grooms as well as wedding vendors (including consultants, venues, caterers, florists, DJs, officiants, etc.) It’s called BridalTweet, and I think it stands head-and-shoulders above any of the forums you will find on bigger sites because it’s community of brides/grooms and vendors is really tight-knit and willing to go above and beyond to help each other out. Oh, and it’s free to sign up and use (a big plus).

Any brides or grooms who sign up on the site can immediately find lots of contests and giveaways; local vendors; free wedding advice via the forums; and really useful wedding ideas and inspiration. And for vendors, there’s free ways to promote your services; networking with other vendors; helpful business advice for vendors; and discussion forums where you can get great advice and share ideas with other vendors. Plus you can create or join topical groups, create your own blog and much more.

I encourage you to stop by BridalTweet today and discover a place where you can learn from other couples and vendors and join an online community that really cares.

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We’re deep in the throes of winter here in Colorado, and because it’s been an unseasonably cold and snowy winter here and everywhere else in the US, people are a bit more tense and … okay, I’ll say it … bitchy and crabby as the long winter draws on (damn groundhog saw his shadow this year to boot, which means 6 more weeks of winter).

I grew up in Ohio, so by the end of February we were always at each other’s throats. Lack of sunlight and ability to spend time in the warm outdoors ends up saddling with even the sunniest disposition with a big pair of grumpy pants, and this year the pants seem to be about 2 sizes larger than usual for most of us. And why do I bring this up … because now is when many couples begin planning their weddings, and as I have discovered, your mood can determine to some extent the relationship you have with your vendors and others involved with your wedding (this goes for both grooms and brides-to-be).

Unfortunately, some people believe that the best way to negotiate with a vendor or get them to perform their responsibilities properly is to scream at them whenever necessary and throw the occasional fit. I bring this up because I’ve heard a few stories lately about a few histrionic brides and grooms-to-be going completely overboard over the most minute of details. Although sometimes such venting might make the ventor feel better temporarily, this behavior usually ends up hurting these people in the end, partially because a vendor is less inclined to be helpful or accommodating to a person who is berating them and partially because some vendors will partake in what is secretly called “punitive billing” (charging a client more for being a pain in the ass … you laugh, but it’s a fact of life in practically any service-based industry).

Most people don’t fall into that category, but we all can still get really irritated by a vendor or other party who isn’t following through on what you asked them (and paid for them) to do, and I’m just as guilty of this as the next person. And really, no relationship with a wedding consultant or vendor goes perfectly. There’s always bumps in the road and things that don’t go quite right. But when it comes to trying to get someone to step up to the plate and follow through or fix a mistake, it’s always better to take the high road with politeness and kindness and treat them like a sentient adult rather than a misbehaving child (even when they might not deserve such kind treatment).

There were a couple of instances when I wanted to let someone have it with both barrels when we were planning our wedding, but instead of unloading I took a step back, waited a day or so to respond, and when I did respond I did it politely but firmly. 99% of vendors and consultants will bend over backwards to fix an issue anyways, and when you point out a problem and ask them nicely to fix it, usually they are so embarrassed that you had to ask they get to it right away.

Of course there’s always that 1% of vendors who are oblivious to your desires and are just in it for the money, and in that case you should just withhold any additional payments until they decide to follow through (and, if that’s not enough incentive for them, you can always go to the BBB and then to small claims court to get reimbursed). Hopefully it never comes to any of that, but you’ll always get further with a little bit of honey than with a gallon of piss-and-vinegar.

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A destination wedding … in Colorado

by on February 9, 2010

I’ve written quite a bit about destination weddings in the past, mainly because Groomasaurus Gal and I had one in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. But a friend of mine brought up a good point the other day in that you don’t have to travel outside the U.S. to have a destination wedding. We’ve got lots of wonderful destinations right here in the good ol’ US of A, and plus with the economy still in pretty poor shape, I’m sure U.S. vendors would appreciate the business.

So I’m making a shameless pitch for having a wedding right here in my home state, Colorado. I live in Denver, and it truly is the best of both worlds. We have a great and thriving city (which also has a surprisingly number of excellent restaurants … only a notch below SF or NY, in my opinion, and those are world-class dining cities) and we are merely footsteps away from America’s playground … the Rocky Mountains. The sky is blue here over 300 days a year (and for a transplanted Midwesterner, that’s a better drug than you can get in any pharmacy or on any streetcorner) and the people are amazingly friendly. You see, Denver is a city of transplants and everyone who is here knows what it’s like to be new. So we’re always willing to bring new friends into our circle and reach out to new arrivals to make them feel welcome.

Anyways, there are so many places in Colorado to get married that I don’t know where to start. And you can either have a ski-slope wintertime wedding or a warm and sunny summer mountain wedding (I actually prefer Colorado in the summer, where there are so many things to do … hike, bike, camp, etc.). The ski towns like Breckenridge, Steamboat Springs, Vail and Crested Butte in the summer are great places for a wedding, as they have the venues and services to accommodate lots of guests and dining. And there are many quieter but just as beautiful towns like Salida or Glenwood Springs (which has a huge historic hot springs and a few classic hotels) that would serve you very well for a wedding. And then there’s destination hotels like the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, which is an entire little city unto itself.

But enough of my talking … here are some photos taken by my friend (and excellent wedding photographer) Katie Girtman from Studio Kiva of some breathtaking Colorado weddings. Katie shoots both wedding as well as commercially (I run a marketing/branding firm, and she’s done several shoots for us, all with great results). She’s the consummate professional, and if you’re looking for a wedding photographer who knows her stuff and will go above and beyond for you, she’s the one to hire. If you want more information on getting married in the mountains here, you should contact Katie or our friends over at Petal & Bean, who are both wedding planners and florists (I don’t see how they do it all, but everything they touch looks magical and ends up wonderful).

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All photography courtesy of Katie Girtman of Studio Kiva.

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