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Meeting the Needs of the Destination Wedding Couple

Today’s guest post is written by Rebecca Hochreiter, VP of Marketing & Customer Engagement for Destination Weddings Travel Group.

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Want a change of scenery? Where wanderlust meets hopeless romance you will find today’s new brand of destination weddings, and the generation of couples who host them.

Not obligated to take their vows ocean side, wear flip flops, or adhere to cookie cutter templates, couples choosing today’s destination weddings seek personalized adventures off the beaten path that reflect their cultures, values, and unique love stories. In this emerging market, “typical” has changed. Business leaders who want to enter or grow their share of the destination wedding market need to know a few important things about this evolving niche.

First, millennials make up a majority of this market, and are often tech savvy and globally-minded. Promotion should be geared to appeal to their needs. They are seduced by the ease of planning a destination wedding, and reassured by growing flexibility in both available locations and opportunities to personalize their celebrations. They grew up seeing destination weddings as exciting – and not out of the ordinary, which explains in part why these events make up more of the market today than you probably realize – 25% to be exact!

It is imperative to recognize that destination weddings aren’t the same events that traditional couples hold, typically within 100 miles of their homes. Yet there are features of the customary celebration that couples are unwilling to sacrifice. Many still want to honor their cultures and values, and venues worldwide are starting to catch on to this. Savvy ones offer specialized menus, décor, and services. You can now find Hindu wedding packages, eco-friendly accommodations and Kosher kitchens at resorts around the globe.

The destinations themselves have also evolved. While island escapes continue to be popular, even more exotic locales are chic. Popular spots include Tuscan vineyards and private castles, along with countries such as Spain, Ireland or Iceland, and epic backdrops like the South of France.

Perhaps the best news for many events professionals is that couples are starting to bring their vendors with them on the road. Budgets are continuing to increase, and as a result, we are seeing those willing to bring favorite event professionals from home rise in number as well. If you are eager to travel, make sure to emphasize this on your website and in your marketing materials.

If destination weddings are part of your target market, make a point of cultivating an intimate understanding of the motivations, resources, and habits of the couples that love them. The time and attention you invest will most certainly yield success.

Rebecca Hochreiter is the Vice President of Marketing & Customer Engagement at DestinationWeddings.com, the world’s leading destination wedding and romantic travel planning company. DestinationWeddings.com has worked with over 20,000 couples and half a million guests to plan dream destination weddings. DestinationWeddings.com is one of the award-winning brands in the Celebration Travel Group collection.

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Sage Wedding Pros is 6 Years Old!

Today, we celebrate 6 years of Sage Wedding Pros. Woweeeeee.

IMG_0604I started this blog as a way to network with wedding professionals nationwide. (It was 2009 and the economy SUCKED. Invitation designers who used to do 200-300 piece orders were now scaled back to 50 piece orders! I had to sell beyond my Seattle market and blogging would be the way to meet a national audience. I was hustling.)

I committed to writing a blog post EVERY SINGLE DAY. I knew that in order for people find the blog and get value, I needed to be consistent in providing valuable content. I wrote every day for 3 years, Monday to Friday. I woke up at 5AM on days (when Lili was a baby). I would schedule 10 days of posts for times I knew I’d be traveling. I also committed to showing people how to do things. I didn’t want to talk about business theory and ‘what ifs’.

6 months later, Kelly joined me as a business partner and we launched The Simple Plan. I know the business would NOT be what it is without the strength of our partnership. We went from ‘just a blog’ to consulting businesses one-on-one. We’ve launched The People Plan, Thursday Therapy, and Be Sage Conference together. We thank our lucky stars to get the chance to work with you… to see your incredible ideas come to life.

So…here’s to March 16, 2009! And here’s to you, for giving us a place in the industry for 6 wonderful years!

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March 17, 2015 - 11:14 am

Meghan- OFD - Congratulations ladies!

March 19, 2015 - 4:14 pm

mariana mosli - Congrats!! Here’s to many, many, more of years of success!

ANNOUNCING BE SAGE CONFERENCE SPEAKER: Betsy Butwin, Bernick Lifson P.A.

YAY! Betsy Butwin will be joining us at Be Sage Conference this November 1-3 in Dallas. Betsy joined us last year and her talk was one of the most well-received. She is a treasure trove of legal advice and input! (And, she’s also a sweetheart.)

BetsyButwinOur strategy with Be Sage Conference is pretty straight-forward. We create a list of questions that experienced wedding pros come to us with. SO MANY of those questions are legal:

  • what do I do if someone is defaming me online?
  • what do I do if someone has stolen my website content?
  • how do I protect my business from copycats?
  • how do I protect my secret sauce?
  • can I copyright a floral design?
  • my clients want cupcakes with Mickey Mouse on them… can i do that?
  • can I trademark a business with my personal name in it?
    (I’m gonna stop there… I could go on for daysssssss.)

We’ve asked to speak on how to protect your intellectual property.

Here’s a little more about Betsy:

Betsy works with business and corporate clients in the wedding, music, scientific, and creative industries. She helps entrepreneurs launch their businesses, draft and negotiate contracts, and manage their intellectual property.

Prior to moving back home to Minneapolis to practice law, she worked for record labels in New York City and clerked for a large music industry law firm in Los Angeles.

In her spare time, Betsy enjoys spending time with her family and friends, exploring the Twin Cities ever-evolving restaurant scene, and seeing live music.

Here are 3 of Betsy’s core values that speak to how she works with her clients:

1) Provide quality and friendly service to clients

2) Operate efficiently and ethically to keep the cost of our services as reasonable as possible

3)Let clients know that they are the most important people in our business

We’ll see you this November in Dallas!

BE SMART. BE BRIGHT. BE SAGE.

Registration is open for Be Sage Conference.

 

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Announcing: The Simple Plan Workshop – San Francisco – May 18-19

Join us for easy-peasy business planning in San Francisco this May 18-19, 2015!

TSP-SF

The Simple Plan is our 2-day workshop where we guide wedding pros through the writing of their business plans. (You will walk out of the workshop with a written plan in hand.) Our goal is to give you a solid foundation for success in:

– your business’s over-arching vision
– your marketing strategy
– your operational strategy
– your financial strategy

Business planning is goal-setting at its best… for wedding pros, at every stage of their business. (Goal-setting never ends.)

The Simple Plan Workshop
Easy-peasy Business Planning
May 18-19, 2015
Blu Bungalow – San Francisco, CA

Learn more and register for the workshop by clicking here.

A BIG BIG thank you to our gracious host and sponsor, Blu Bungalow. They have been so attentive to all of our needs! We can’t wait to work in this lovely wedding studio.

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Watch this lovely little video to see us in action at The Simple Plan:

Sage Wedding Pros – The Simple Plan from Bella Films {Beth Oslander} on Vimeo.

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Learn to Delegate: Which Tasks Should You Relinquish Control Over?

When you run your own wedding business, it can be a challenge to keep track of all of your clients and their individual needs. No matter how organized you are, no matter what kind of notes you keep, something is bound to fall through the cracks sooner or later. When that moment comes, you will realize that you simply cannot do it all by yourself — you need help.

checklist-150938_1280Why Delegation Is Important

Would you label yourself a control freak? No? What about your friends and staff members — they might have a different opinion. (Sorry – just using my years of observation to call you out! HA!;))

Small business owners have a tendency to try to control every aspect of their businesses. You’ve built your business from the ground up, after all, and you’d hate to see it flounder in the hands of another. The key to success for some of the most lucrative wedding businesses out there, however, is delegation — creating a division of labor and assigning the right people to the job.

Rather than putting an average level of effort into all aspects of your wedding business by yourself, why not delegate a few things so that every task gets the attention and level of expertise that it deserves? You still need to provide some oversight and guidance, of course, but letting someone else handle the details will take a great deal of stress off your plate, and it will yield better results.

5 Steps for Learning to Delegate

There is a right way and a wrong way to implement delegation in your wedding business. You cannot simply make a list of tasks to be completed then hand them out willy-nilly. You need to think carefully about which tasks you should keep for yourself and then draw from your pool of staff members to find the right person for the rest of the jobs to be completed. Follow the steps below to determine which tasks you should delegate and which you should keep for yourself:

  1. Make a list of all the tasks that need to be done — this list could apply to a certain client’s wedding, or it could apply to your business as a whole.
  2. Review the list and circle the tasks that you do not enjoy doing — everyone has different gifts and different fields of expertise, so if you do not enjoy keeping track of your business’ finances but one of your staff members has a history in accounting, hand it over! (Or – outsource this to a bookkeeper. You can delegate to people OUTSIDE of your business.)
  3. Start small by choosing three tasks from the list to delegate — select three tasks that are important to get done and that you do not mind handing over to someone else. (That’s it! THREE!)
  4. Assign these tasks to the people you think are best qualified to complete them — it also helps if those people enjoy the type of work required for the task.
  5. Take a deep breath and let it go — once you’ve assigned your tasks to the right people, you need to step back and let them work. Make sure you’ve trained them adequately, make yourself available for questions, and check in now and then for progress reports, but do not micromanage.

Now that you have a good idea what it means to delegate and how to go about choosing the right people for the job, you can take some time to think about which tasks you should relinquish control over for your own business. Do you have a staff member who is gifted with website design or maybe someone who loves to speak with clients over the phone? Perhaps one of your staff is eager to take on more responsibility in the company. The options for delegation are endless — it all depends on what tasks you enjoy doing, those you do not, and what kind of skills and expertise your staff members have.

Remember, it is more important to have the right person assigned to the job at hand than to try to handle everything yourself. That is the best way to grow your business.

How have you managed delegation? Share your success tips in a comment below.

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