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We kicked our 2013 wedding season off with a bang!! Holly and Kevin had a beautiful wedding March 1st at the lovely Normandy Farm in Blue Bell, Pa. They were about as easy going as it gets and were even up for venturing into the cold March air to do some outdoor portraits. We couldn’t have asked for a better couple to start our wedding season off with! Enjoy a few pictures!!

So we, like so many of you, LOOOOOVVVEEEE Pinterest!! But, do you know what you can really do with Pinterest and how to maximize it for your wedding? Here are some tips and tricks we recommend to get the most out of this amazingly addictive social media.

First of course you have to join. What’s that? You already have a Pinterest account you say? What we recommend is actually that you make an account ONLY for your wedding planning. And before you do that, we suggest you open an email account just for your wedding. You can get one for free at hotmail, yahoo, gmail, etc. Share this with all of your vendors, sign up for The Knot, give it out at bridal shows, etc. This way you know that everything wedding-related can be found in one spot and the best part is, after the wedding, you can just let the account stagnate. That way you don’t spend months trying to unsubscribe from all the wedding lists and newsletters that clutter up your inbox. And of course the best part… it’ll be fun to have TheFutureMrsJones@yahoo.com or SmithJonesWedding@gmail.com or JaneLovesJohn@hotmail.com etc.

MAKE BOARDS!! So after you have your accounts all set up, it’s time to start pinning! Don’t get ahead of yourself here, I know you want to just start browsing and pinning and going nuts (we totally get it!) but first you should create your boards. You can make as few or many as you like but we do recommend putting some organization to it. If I were to get married again, my boards would be: Dress, Flowers, Centerpieces / Tables, Other Decor, Stationary, Cake, Photos, Hair and Makeup, Vendors, The Boys, and Tips.

START PINNING!! Search for anything you’d like to see more of. I would search for vintage themed wedding, neutral color wedding, wedding ideas, outdoor wedding, you get the idea. You should search for whatever aesthetic you’re striving for. Maybe you would search for contemporary wedding or country wedding or DIY wedding. If you’re stuck or seeing the same things over and over again, try using a thesaurus to freshen up your search.

MANAGE YOUR PINS AND BOARDS!! As the feel of your wedding vision narrows and you make decisions, make sure you’re keeping your pins and boards up to date. Rearrange your pins and boards as necessary so you don’t get overwhelmed.

PIN IT!! Install the “pin it” toolbar button. That way, as you’re navigating the great big internet, as you see things you can add them directly to your boards. Pin photographs that you like of different vendors so you have them all in one place to compare at-a-glance. This is especially true for photographers.

CUSTOMIZE YOUR BOARDS!!! Make boards specific to people who might be “following” you. This is great if vendors you work with have Pinterest accounts as well so you can connect visually and remotely without sending tons of emails back and forth with links. It’s all about being concise and organized here so connecting with people so they can see your vision is a great idea. We have a wedding coming up this summer where the bride will probably get some photos done with her horses (neat huh!?) so we’ve pinned some equine wedding photos to get a feel for what she’s looking for. We now have a clearer idea of what she wants and we’re really excited for her wedding (Hey Liz!)!! We were excited for her wedding already but come on…horses!!!

BE CAREFUL!! Try out allllll DIY projects WAY before wedding time. This blog can explain much better than I can: http://pinstrosity.blogspot.com

SHARE SHARE SHARE!! Have everyone who is anyone follow you, and you follow them. Pinterest is a social media and you will get the most out of it if you involve everyone. It really is a great way to show the world what your wedding is about. It’s more than just vows and dancing, it’s a testament to who you are as a couple. Share it with the world!

HAPPY PINNING!!!

You can find our pinterest here: http://pinterest.com/linkedforever/ Follow us!!

As Valentine’s Day is now officially over, bridal shows will be sprouting up all over the place!

Here are a few tips for successfully navigating a bridal show and making the most out of your visit!

1. BRING A FRIEND!!! Sisters, moms, and maids of honor make great choices! There is a ton of knowledge to be found at these shows so PLEASE do yourself a favor and bring backup!

2. Print labels with all of your pertinent contact information on it. This will save you an unbeleivable amount of time. Almost every vendor will be thrusting clipboards into your face to fill out information for various reasons. We gather info on people so that we can do a drawing to win a free engagement session! We like to give some incentive for you to come to our table and the chance to win a prize is perfect! We also like to send a card and add you to our newsletter after the show so we use your info for that as well. Just make sure you ask what it’ll be used for…you never know. Pertinent information should include your names, wedding date and venue, phone, email, and postal address.

3. Just like Disney World, when you go into the room, head straight to the back and work your way out. This is especially true if you arrive just at opening time. It’ll be like a bottle neck at the door most brides just hovering at the first few tables. You won’t get much of a chance to actually talk to the vendors if you are caught up in that.

4. Actually talk to the vendors! We are there to show you the very best of what we have and hopefully wow you enough to want to sit down in a private meeting. This is your best opportunity to get to know is right off the bat to see if it will be worth your time to schedule that meeting. I know it’s loud and chaotic and you’re surrounded by bridezillas at these shows but do everything you can to take a moment to talk to the people you’re most impressed with.

5. Take information for everyone you want more info on and don’t take anything you aren’t interested in or don’t need. Save yourself the hassle of having to sort through everything later by taking information only from the vendors you want to learn more about. If you weren’t impressed with a vendor’s display table then don’t take their flyers/brochures/cards etc. If you don’t need a DJ, same rule applies…and so on. It’s ok to be honest if people are still trying to give you things. Just say “no thanks!” and continue on your way. Don’t worry about being rude, it happens all the time! And quite honestly, you’re saving us unnecessary follow-up and marketing materials!

6. Take a look at the vendors before you go. If you’ve been to several shows or even if you haven’t, check out the vendor list on the host’s website. Maybe you’ve already seen or ruled-out most of the vendors. Or maybe you need a florist but there aren’t any at this show. Or even if you do want to go, checking out the vendor list can give you an idea of who is there. You can look at their websites before going to the show and have an idea of who you want to talk to and who you don’t. Like most-things-wedding, it’s best to be prepared.

7. Skip the fashion show. Unless you came to see this years trends in bridal fashion, skip the eye candy and take this time to visit the vendor booths. Since most of the brides crowd into the ballroom to watch the dresses and tuxes be modeled, the booths should be empty and the vendors anxious and excited to talk to you!

8. No suggestion here just an observation…only about 1 out of every 20 brides bring their grooms to bridal shows. Do with this information as you please but it’s definitely a tidbit you should know

HAVE FUN at those bridal shows! It’s a great time to see ideas and vendors that you may have never found otherwise. Make the best of it and enjoy!!

Hey everybody! We hope your winter is moving quickly and your planning (if you’re planning) is going smoothly!

As we are smack in the middle of planning season, we’ve been very busy in the studio meeting new people! One thing that A LOT of couples ask us is: When should we book you? This is a great questions which has a lot of answers! First of all, we are not the only vendor you are booking so we figure, more information is better than less so we’ll help you out with all of the most commonly-used vendors! Second of all, every wedding is different. I can’t state that enough… EVERY. WEDDING. IS. DIFFERENT. With that said, please use your best judgement and your own priorities list to determine when you should book and with whom. We have people book us for their wedding more than two years in advance, and we’ve also had people book only two weeks in advance (yes, this is 100% true!!) and of course everywhere in between. It really depends on what matters most to you! And finally, we’re biased! We think everyone should book us first and way in advance. So, to try and be as objective as possible, we’ll share the thoughts of the industry leaders as well. We have, however, put them in the order that we think they should be booked. Enjoy!!

 

Planner/Coordinator

  • The Knot: 9-11 months
  • Wedding Wire: 9 months
  • brides.com: 11 months
  • We recommend you book this person FIRST! However far in advance you begin your planning, book this person immediately! We suggest at least a year out. She (or he!) will be responsible for creating the most amazing memorable event ever so you want her to have all the time she needs as well as be involved in the entire process!

 

Venue

  • The Knot: 9-11 months
  • Wedding Wire: 9 months
  • brides.com: 11 months
  • We really feel like you can’t book anything else until you book a venue. First, there is the chance that you will fall in love with a venue that doesn’t have the date you want available. For some couples, this is a deal-breaker and they will move onto the next venue. For others, their date is flexible so they may be willing to consider a different date if theirs is unavailable. If this happens to you, and you’ve already booked a DJ or a photographer, etc. you put yourself at unnecessary risk that these previously-booked professionals aren’t available on the new date and you could lose some or all of your deposit

 

Photographer and/or Videographer

  • The Knot: 6-8 months
  • Wedding Wire: 6 months
  • brides.com: 6 months
  • I already told you we’re biased but I couldn’t disagree with the industry more on this one. Six months from now (August), our calendar is almost entirely booked up and these brides booked us several months ago. In our experience, brides tend to book around 9-12 months out. That means that if you’re waiting until 6 months out to book there is a good chance your date has been taken for quite some time now, ESPECIALLY if it’s a busy month like October or June.

 

DJ or Band

  • The Knot: 9-11 months
  • Wedding Wire: 9 months
  • brides.com: 6 months
  • We’re going to have to go with The Knot on this one and say the sooner the better. Like a photographer, DJs are usually on the very top of the to-do checklist and when we sit down with a bride at her initial consultation she talks about wanting to get the “big” things done. These things are Venue, Photographer, and DJ without exception. Frank Raffa at Sound Sensation DJs says many brides book around 9 months prior although it used to be 12 and he does suggest a full year. The one thing about DJs that you have to remember as well is that they do lots and lots of other kinds of events as well so their calendars tend to be very full. You may also be contending for your date with a prom, another wedding, a corporate event, and a Bar Mitzvah

 

Officiant

  • The Knot: 9-11 months
  • Wedding Wire: 6 months
  • brides.com: 11 months
  • Depending on if you’re getting married at a church or a secular location will determine whether or not you need to find an officiant. If you do, and ESPECIALLY if you want someone you know and trust (like your own minister) to perform the ceremony, then just like a planner and a venue, don’t wait. Book this person right away! Don’t even read the suggested time frame. Call them now.

 

Florist

  • The Knot: 6-8 months
  • Wedding Wire: 6 months
  • brides.com: 6 months
  • The good thing about florists (and bakeries!) is that they are often able to do many events in one day. This means that they may not book up as quickly as the other vendors so you should have some more flexibility with your timeline. Still we say, don’t wait. Have your initial consultation early so you know if the flowers you love are in season or not, and you can plan your decor accordingly. We did a wedding a few years ago that was a cherry blossom theme. It was absolutely beautiful but the bride didn’t book with the florist until much too late and they weren’t able to get actual cherry blossoms for her bouquet like she wanted. She told me that had she realized that, she would have had the wedding when they were in season.

 

Bakery

  • The Knot: 6-8 months
  • Wedding Wire: 6 months
  • brides.com: 6 months
  • While you don’t need to necessarily book the bakery early, we absolutely recommend going to many many tastings. Everyone looks forward to the cake and it should be as beautiful as it is delicious. So take your time and be thorough on this one keeping in the back of your mind that bakeries will close out a date if they have too many orders. So don’t wait too long!

 

Stationary

  • The Knot: 6-8 months
  • Wedding Wire: 6 months
  • brides.com: 5 months
  • With stationary comes Save-the-Dates (send as soon as you secure your venue), invitations (send 6-8 weeks before wedding), Thank You Cards (traditional wedding etiquette says to send them within 1 year although that sounds like an awfully long time to us!), and misc (place cards, programs, seating charts, favor tags etc). A lot of this is DIY but much of it is not. Give yourself enough time to have them reprinted if there is a problem so you won’t be stressing out last minute.

 

Transportation

  • The Knot: 2-3 months
  • Wedding Wire: 2 months
  • brides.com: 6 months
  • Lots of disagreement with the industry leaders! We’re with brides on this one; better safe than sorry. Some things to keep in mind… if you are considering a trolley, horse & carriage, school bus, or some other non-traditional transportation, keep in mind that there will be a lot less of these available than limos so book early to avoid having to settle for a boring stretch. Also, if you’re considering a stretch (not boring at all!) and you’re getting married between April and June, don’t forget it’s prom season and companies will often sell out on weekends!

We really hope this helps. And when in doubt, if you aren’t sure, just ask!

We are thrilled and honored to be a part of greatness today! Today we will be spending several hours judging the SkillsUSA competition at Eastern Center of Arts and Technology. This is an incredible competition which encourages students to live up to their potential in their respective fields of study. “By recognizing students’ skills and abilities, the competitions promote professional development and appreciation of quality job skills.” – SkillsUSA handbook. We are truly honored to be entrusted with judging this competition and we are humbled to be in the company of some incredible young people with a fresh passion for an old love of ours.

Hey Everyone! Today’s Tip Tuesday is something quick and easy! I can’t tell you how many times we’ve arrived with the groom and groomsmen and they have no idea how to tie their bowties, fold their pocket squares, or make the same tie knot. This is an easily-rectified situation so please see below!!

knots

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=hot+to+tie+a+bow+tie&oq=hot+to+tie+a+bow&gs_l=youtube.3.0.0l4.106535.108522.0.110719.16.11.0.5.5.0.127.815.9j2.11.0…0.0…1ac.1.2gV_viJc3Tw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEChjzP9T6A

We suggest you email a link to this blog the night before the wedding so that if the guys need some help, it’s easily accessible. Hope that helps the gentlemen on your big day!!

Keep those comments and subscriptions coming in!!!!

Linked Forever Photography's Blog

So, we announced early in the week that we will be giving away a FREE wedding photography package and I’m here to give you all of the details YAY! So here goes, here comes the details and the fine print.

Details:

-Up for grabs is our Steel Package valued at $1,000 which includes 2 photographers for 4 hours, 200-400 photos with full post processing, a private online gallery for all your proofs, and some other great goodies, be sure to check our website out for full package descriptions!

-ANYONE can win except Rachael Freed and Meghan Krevolin!!

-The prize is transferrable so if you win but don’t need wedding photography you can gift it to the lucky couple of your choosing!

-The prize is valued at $1000 which CAN be applied toward one of our larger packages if you so desire.

-There will be a minimum of 3 ways to…

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