send your message
The Business of Bridal Done Differently.
Create once and repurpose forever
PUBLISH OR PERISH
Build a strong social presence
to bring in more business
Taking a Stand For Diversity
Make Amazing Video Content
ON THE COVER
Dresses by Love Lives Here (formerly Mink Maids)
Neck Cuff by Kata Banko
Table of Contents
Letter From the Editor
Endless Content: Create Once, Repurpose Forever
TREND REPORT: Ruffles on Ruffles
You Can Make Videos That Get Attention Now
Meet Ramona - Owner of Love and Lace Bridal and Tailor in CA
The Algorithm and Beyond...
Intention and Inclusivity vs. Tokenism and Appropriation
TREND REPORT: Sleeves With Some Oomph
Meet Stefanie- Designer of Stefanie Somers
How to Avoid Social Media Burnout
5 HUGE Website Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make Anymore
Smartphone Photography 101
Publish or Perish
Parting Shot: You Have to Ask
CONTRIBUTORS AND FEATURES
Accessories by Cloe Noel Designs
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
Hello again and welcome!
With a magazine full of articles, it shouldn't be surprising that we're all about the message around
here. The message you put out there for your clients is a major factor in your business's success, so
it's worth your time and attention. There are lots of ways to communicate it, too, as you’ll see in this
I want to encourage you to figure out a couple things as you work through our issue on spreading
your message and over the next few months. First - who are you talking to? Second - what do you
really want to tell them? And then I'm going to challenge you: Do it.
The big truths. The deeper message. The genuine, authentic, realities that fill up your heart and your
mission for them and their lives that they're building.
We're in an industry that surrounds two people during one of the most meaningful and vulnerable
times in their lives. If they've made the choice to do this whole wedding thing, it's because marriage
is part of their chosen journey. Because of that, their wedding and marriage takes its place in their
story and the story of the community around them. That is an incredibly special thing!
If we're doing it right, we welcome them in with open arms, full hearts, and a determination to be
the expertise and support that brings exactly what they need and want to life to give them the best
celebration for them. That's a pretty big goal to set for ourselves! Yet, it's one we reaffirm collectively
These aren't truths or aims that can be communicated with cute and fluffy adjectives or a long
string of emojis alone. Pictures can't capture everything in the meaning. We need to prioritize the
We rely too much on visuals, I think. They are both inspiring and indespensible, but they are the easy
way out when they are left to stand alone. Anyone can get them and there's only so much they can
Take the time to get great writing out there, on social media, on your site, in your emails.
Everywhere. Good writing gives message to ideal clients. Or good video. But words. Speak truth,
whatever that is to you, your work, and your clients. It’s worth the time and the spotlight.
To the message in you that no one else can give us quite the same way...thank you for stepping
forward and having the courage and commitment to share it,
Create Once and Repurpose Forever
hen you realize just how important your message is to the impa
overwhelming. We talk about things like content creation, mes
ideal client and target market. You know all the different ways to g
change every day). But there are two really important questions man
y Christen Schneider
ct (and income) you can build with your business, it can start to feel
sage marketing, finding your voice, and getting really clear on your
et that message out there (even though it can seem like the rules
y store owners and designers feel like they don't have the answer for:
1. How am I supposed to find the
2. How am I supposed to have
something totally new to say every
time I log on?
Let's start with number two. The
great news is that you DON'T need
something new to say every time.
That's actually a great way to get
lost in all the noise. You've heard
that if you "say it loud enough and
often enough, people will believe it's
true," right? Well, that's the best way
to go about getting your big time
message out there to your clients
Your message is what sets you
apart. It's what you want everyone
to know about what you do, why
you do it, and why they should buy
You need to have lots of clarity, lots
of passion, and a whole lot of
Why? First, social media only hits
very small part of your audience
(even Facebook Business puts the
average page reach at 16%). You
can't count on each person seeing
each post, so you need to say things
more than once, at different times,
and in different ways to cover as
much of your followers as possible.
Second, people need to hear things
over and over and over again.
People learn better, trust more, and
make decisions based on what
they've been exposed to most
effectively and frequently.
Say it clearly.
Say it in lots of
Say it often.
That's pretty much Marketing 101.
So you should be focused on saying
what matters more frequently, not
constantly finding something else
to talk about. Which means that
you can take an awesome piece of
IT ALL CONNECTS.
Here are some more ways you can start with on piece of content and keep the re
Live Facebook Video
Personal Facebook Post**
**A personal Facebook post may sound weird for a business...but it’s a great way to beat the algorithms and reach your family
and friends for referrals and updates.
content, repurpose it a bunch of
different ways, and make your
marketing MORE EFFECTIVE with a
lot less work.
So that's number one solved, too!
Let's take a look at some
ways you could repurpose an
powerful piece of content:
Let’s say you have a FAQ about
appointments that would really
help brides feel at ease shopping for
their dress. Putting brides at ease
and positioning yourselves as the
local go-to experts is part of your
marketing message. Sounds like a
winning content topic!
You write up a great blog post with
pictures from real appointments
and all the info they need to answer
the question and feel ready to come
in. That's a big task and a really
valuable piece of content. How can
you squeeze every last drop out of
your time and words?
1) Send it out to an email list. (This is
exactly why you should be building
an email list, by the way.)
2) Make a Live Facebook video with
a quick overview and a link back the
post for more details.
3) Download your Facebook Live
video and upload it to your YouTube
4) Post an Instagram and Facebook
Page post with an image from the
blog and a link to the post.
5) Snap a picture of your computer
screen with the blog post on it and
post it in your Instagram story,
telling people how to find it.
6) Create a Pinterest graphic and
post the blog post to Pinterest.
(Bonus Points- Schedule a reminder
post about this really core content
every 2-4 months.)
So that one blog post just got you
and your message in front of your
audience 9+ times, in a way that
makes them more likely to hear and
believe what you have to say. That's
the beauty of repurposing your
ach flowing from platform to platform to get even more views and impact.
Pin to Pinterest
Guest Blog Post
(You write on someone
else’s blog or site.)
This looks like there’s no right way to start or finish because there’s not.
Pick somewhere and find a good path for that particular piece of content!
Designer: Ellie Day Collection Photographer: Kristina Danitz Model: Olivia Sanders
Whether they’re full scale or in the details, you’ll find designers who make them edgy,
classic, organic, romantic, minimalistic, and more. It’s a simple element that packs a big
punch, no matter how it’s used. Here’s a round up of some we’ve fallen in love with lately!
Designer (clockwise from top left): Nourikko, Gretchen Dawley, Prim and Clover, Steven Birnbaum Bridal, Desiree Spice, and Deborah Lindquist
You Can Make Videos
by Wendy Rivera
The camera turns on, and it
seems like everything blacks
out. Your brain is in the middle
of a barrage of thoughts —
Wait, what was I going to say? I
hate that I always talk too fast!
What was I even going to talk about
on this video?
I hate how I look on camera — I hate
how I sound on camera — I hate
how I….. I’m the owner, and I care
about my brand — it’s just going to
look unprofessional! What is “good
lighting?” How do I get people to
even watch my videos?! This is just
a stressful waste of my time.
So you conclude:
“Forget it —
I’m not doing it.”
When you hear a marketing expert
say, “Video is the most important
element in your marketing today!”,
do you suddenly feel: a. Excited b.
Empowered or c. a Panic Attack
leading to hopeless resignation that
your bridal business will never
capitalize on the most important
element in marketing?
If your answer was c. — you are not
alone — and keep reading, because
I want to share with you five simple
things that every successful
marketing video contains that
ANYONE can do, without spending
any money on equipment!!
YOU can do this! There are a ton of
things out there to do or buy that
people claim will improve your
videos, but these 5 things I’m going
to share with you are primary to
making videos that connect and
convert with your audience!
Light it up!!
You don’t have to have professional
lighting, but you DO need to make
sure that you test the lighting
before you go live or record your
videos! It only takes a minute to do
a quick lighting test and make sure
that your shot is well lit! Let me tell
you, whenever a video is too dark, it
makes your audience have to work
to watch it. And if an audience has
to work to watch you, they will turn
So simply make sure that wherever
you set up your shot, the light is
hitting you from the front and not
from the back. If the light is shining
from the back, it pulls attention
away because the audience cannot
focus on your face (or on whatever
product you are trying to show).
You don’t have to have a
microphone to make good videos,
but you DO need to be close
enough to the device (a camera or
your phone etc.) for the microphone
to pick you up above whatever
other noise is around you! Are you
recording a video at market, at a
bridal show, or at an event at your
Background noise is a killer when
you are too far away from the
camera — and this is especially true
when you are trying to interview
someone! You may be trying to get
a great long shot, but if you (and the
person you are interviewing), are
not close enough to the mic, it’s a
bad idea! If your audience has to
work to hear you, they will turn you
So simply stay anywhere within 6
feet of the camera when there is no
background noise, and within 4 feet
of the camera if there is any other
noise or music that you may be
competing with. Remember, the
audience can’t zero in on what you
are saying when there are other
things coming through their
speakers. Let your voice and your
message be easily heard!
Yes, you MUST be excited to get
your audience excited! They will feel
only HALF of whatever energy you
are putting out there, so before you
hit record, get a little bit more
pumped up! Stand up taller, think
of something that makes you smile
(or even laugh!), and then hit it!
Laughing and smiling opens you up
to people, and that helps them to
open up to you, and WANT to watch
you to hear what you have to say.
When you see a video of someone
who seems happy, you tend to tap
on it to see what in the world they
might be happy about! Remember,
this is not about broadcasting, it is
about communicating — and those
two are VERY different from each
Don’t mindlessly talk about
something you are promoting,
because if the audience doesn’t
FEEL anything about what you are
presenting, they will turn you off.
You want people to get excited
about your clearance sale? Your
trunk show? Your new line? Your
fashion show? Then YOU have got
to be excited! Don’t just announce
it — show them how excited you are
about it, and that you can’t wait to
meet them there!
People connect to your message
only if YOU connect with your
message. If it doesn’t make you
happy, then they will have no
interest in it at all! And don’t believe
the lie that “it is fake”, or “I don’t feel
like ‘me’.” Put yourself aside, smile,
and make someone’s day who is
watching your video! Get them
excited about life in general by how
excited you are for what is
happening in your business. People
will share things that make other
people smile — so go spread a little
sunshine and watch what a
difference it makes in your reach!
Memorized or obviously read videos
are the least effective of any videos
in marketing. Don’t put so much
pressure on yourself to “make it
perfect”, because transparency is
actually GOLD in marketing!
The “perfect” video is a transparent
video — mistakes and all! Be YOU,
and if you stumble a little on your
words, it’s OK! In fact, the out-takes
are the BEST to add on any video —
audiences LOVE them!! Just keep
the message moving, don’t get
bogged down, don’t think of any
stumbles as a mistake, keep
smiling, keep talking, and focus on
giving valuable content! Don’t get
sidetracked — and just have fun
sharing the info you came to share!
over-rehearse, or over-script
— all of these things put a
barrier between you and
your audience and they will
turn you off! When any
human is communicating
with another human, it is
always always always more
effective if it is spoken from
the heart! Even scripted
things are only effective if
they come across as NOT
scripted! If you do 100 takes
to get it “perfect”, I PROMISE
you you will lose more
energy and connectedness
with each take, and flat-line
People want to get to know
YOU, and your staff! When
you look like you are having
fun, people will want to join
you. So, don’t stress yourself out
about saying it “perfectly”, just say it
the same way you would say it if you
were telling a group of excited
brides who happened to walk by
your boutique! Have fun and GET IT
Don’t waste time making a video
that won’t connect! Just get
excited, look into that camera, think
of that group of excited brides, and
tell them all about it! Then, when
you watch the video, check for
ONLY the things on this checklist —
good lighting good sound, good
energy and good info.
Don’t critique yourself to death, and
lose your confidence in the process.
(Yes, your personal appearance is
important, but I think you know
what makes someone look
professional or not, right?! So, don’t
body shame yourself — remember,
your team and your brides are
watching you, and you hate it when
they do that!) You are gorgeous —
you are amazing — and you are
helping your audience know about
an incredible thing! Go tell them!
Wrap it Up!
When you make a video, make sure
that you empower the audience to
have all of the info and then to DO
something with the info!! Give them
the dates, the times, the location,
the cost, and the most vital facts
about the event (or product etc.),
both in the middle of the video and
then quickly at the end to review!
Where/How do they get tickets?
How do they reserve a spot? How
can they contact you for more info
or if they have questions?
Sometimes it is GREAT to have
someone hold a paper with that
info on it where you can see it, (but
of course, where the audience can’t,
lol), so that you don’t have to
remember all of the info yourself!
Forgetting that info, when the rest
of the video was great, is very
frustrating, because you lose some
of your original energy on each
successive take. And that info MUST
be on there!
Tell the audience what you want
them to do — and give them a
reason to take immediate action!
Urgency is key - “spots are
filling fast”, “space is limited”,
“the first 25 brides to book
get….” etc. Do a drawing for a
gift where anyone who
shares the video is entered to
win the drawing! Anything to
give the audience a positive
and exciting reason to take
action, spread the word, book
an appointment, etc.
Also, REMEMBER, you have 10
seconds to grab their
attention — audiences have
an attention span of 10-15
seconds to decide if they will
keep watching! And if they
are not inspired or interested,
they will turn you off. Sooooo,
if your video will be 60
seconds, make your first 10
seconds power-packed and
give them a reason to watch
till the end! If you are sharing great
content, you can keep your
audience! BUT, 15 second videos are
also POWERFUL because social
media tends to show them more!
So, if your content is relevant and
your audience connects with it by
interacting, commenting, sharing,
etc., it can have an amazing organic
reach even if it is 2 minutes or so —
AND if it is only 15-20 seconds it will
also naturally get shown more (you
just may need to talk super fast to
get any info out, lol!). Put vital info
in the description — links, websites,
phone numbers — so that it is EASY
for your audience to reach you —
and so that you get
cross-promotion with other
vendors, bloggers, event sites, etc.
Let it get as much organic reach as
possible and then boost it! Don’t
stress — JUST DO IT!
Look at that!! You can do ALL of
these things! But the key word
there is DO!!!! Don’t just do what I
tend to do with exercise info that I
read — I think, ooooh I need to buy
that magazine to read how to lose
50 pounds in 2 weeks!! I buy it, read
it, and then NEVER DO IT — and
shocker: Nothing changes.
You want to change the traffic at
your business? Put your hesitations,
excuses, and past video frustrations
aside — grab your phone and make
some videos that get your audience
energized and empowered to
engage with you! (The National
Bridal Sale Event is coming up for
boutiques, and NOW is the time to
be churning out the videos about
Let’s lead the way in showing that
being a confident, empowering,
encouraging, and magnetic
presence can inspire others to take
positive action! And aren’t you all
about that?! Effective marketing,
simply put, inspires action. Help
others take positive action using
these 5 tips, and you’ll find yourself
multiplying your reach with
amazing videos on every platform!
For more training and e-courses by Do
You Speak Bride? go to
Wendy Rivera is a Nationally Recognized Expert in the
Bridal Industry, and has exploded onto the scene with Do
You Speak Bride! Wendy is a powerful communicator
both on stage and off, and has a passion for helping
shoppes learn the very nuanced language of “Bride”.
Wendy is a writer, director, coach, speaker, counselor,
mom and bridal shoppe owner, and is passionate about
helping bridal boutiques all over the world to increase
every part of their business — and become THE
destination in Bride Country!!
DO YOU SPEAK BRIDE PRESENTS
LAUNCH EDUCATIONAL SEMINAR
AUGUST 5-7 ATLANTA, GA.
leadership skills even
further as we look at
what a leader looks
like, servant leadership,
Work with some of the
best in the industry on
the difference between
marketing - free and
paid options - and
walk away with a plan.
Bring your numbers so
we can dig deep into
benchmarks, the three
ways to grow, and how
to become the most
LAUNCH Consulting is a group of like-minded women who love to bring positivity, growth, and community to business.
Their focus is on real world solutions, action plans, and facilitating a group of revolutionary industry leaders.
LAUNCH will be hosting in-person education, online communities, and more!
ABOUT THE SEMINAR
Wendy RIvera, Lynn Crandall,
Meredith Bullock, Ashley Krauss and
August 5-7, 2018
$699 for your first ticket
$499 for additional tickets
WWW.WELAUNCHTOGETHER.COM | FB.COM/GROUPS/WELAUNCHTOGETHER
See more potential best sellers every day!
Check out our Wed Altered
Dress by Renegade Bridal
Owner of Love and Lace Bridal
and Tailor in CA
ove and Lace Bridal and Tailor
is one of those stores I wish I
had shopped at when I was
engaged. Their selection in
beautiful and has just the right
amount of variety, the space is
welcoming and bright, and
Ramona and her team clearly know
exactly what they’re doing. So I was
pretty excited when she agreed to
tell us more about what they’re up
to now that they’ve expanded to a
You're based in two spots in
California now. Tell me a little
about what sets your cities apart.
We have 2 locations in Southern
California. Our original store is in
Irvine, CA, a small city in the heart of
Orange County. It is a new and
modern community full of young
families. Our second location is
completely opposite, located in
downtown Los Angeles on busy
Sunset Blvd. The store is much
smaller and perfectly curated to our
non-traditional LA brides!
What led to you opening your
store? What's your bridal origin
I opened my initial bridal salon after
practicing law for several years and
being completely unhappy and
unfulfilled creatively. After realizing
that the creative part of myself was
super important, I tossed around
several ideas of what type of
business to open. There was an
existing bridal salon for sale in our
area and we were super close to
buying it. On a whim, I decided that
I wanted my very own place with
my very own way of doing things –
and Love and Lace was opened a
few months later!
biggest piece of
advice for other
Figure out why
you want to open
and what type of
bride you want to
cater to. Most
owners think it
will be “fun” and
they have no idea
who their ideal
bride is. You are
not Target – you
out who you want
your specific bride to be and be
everything for her, but only her!
Why do you love what you do?
I love what I do because at the end
of the day, most of our brides are
amazing and truly grateful for us.
We play a (small) part in their
wedding story and it is quite special
Price range - $1400-$4000
Number of fitting rooms – 3 in
Irvine; 2 in LA
Staff – 5 sales consultants in Irvine, 2
seamstresses; 3 sales consultants in
3 words to describe your store vibe –
relaxed, friendly, open-minded
3 words to describe your bride –
unique, confident, and effortless
Are you bridal only or other
departments- Bridal only
How do you spread the work
around when things get really
busy? Do you have your team
tackle social media or
appointments? Do it all yourself?
I have my consultants that take all
of our bridal appointments now (I
don’t do them anymore). I am in
charge of all the behind-the-scenes,
payroll, inventory, buying, etc. I have
a PR company that does our PR and
social media. Other than that, I do
everything else myself.
What does "community over
competition” mean for you and
I think it is more important to be
friends with and learn from your
competitors, rather than be afraid
of them. I strive to reach out to them
and even meet up regularly. I truly
believe that we each get the brides
we are supposed to get, so I would
rather foster friendships and find
ways to grow together, rather than
be afraid of them.
What's a really special story about
About 80% of our staff are moms,
and fairly recent moms. It has made
us look at the wedding dress
shopping through different eyes
and able to sympathize on another
Who's a big business inspiration for
you and what makes them so
A huge inspiration for me has been
connecting and building
friendships with others bridal salon
owners across the country. I have a
good core group of women that I am
friends with and I don’t know what I
would do without them.
We speak weekly, if not daily, and
share each other’s burdens, joys and
accomplishments. It has been one
of the most amazing things about
getting to know this part of the
industry. To be honest, anytime I feel
fed up or ready to quit (who doesn’t,
haha) I think about these women
and they inspire me to get up and
What has made you who you are
As with most of us, we are who we
are today because of life experiences
and how they have shaped our
viewpoint. Growing up as part of an
immigrant family and struggling to
make it in this country, I have
fostered an appreciation and
respect for all the things we have
It is important to me not to take
anything for granted, nor to expect a
certain type of lifestyle. I try to filter
my business decisions and how I run
my salons through that type of lens:
be grateful for each bride and treat
her with an utmost of respect and
reverence, because she is trusting us
with such an important part of her
What's a big vision or goal you have
for your store over the next 5-10
I would love to have expanded into
our current locations, in terms of
types of gowns we offer and to
expand our plus-size selections.
Trying to cater to brides of all sizes is
a project of mine that has been on
my heart a lot. We have already
begun to add to our plus size
collection and I am excited to make
What's your favorite way to do
something special for brides?
We pride ourselves in the ways we
try to bond with our brides during
our appointments. We take time to
get to know them and find out
about their stories, because
everyone has something amazing to
say. It is so special when brides reach
back out to us after their
appointments, and even their
weddings, to catch up and just chat.
It shows that we have made an
impact on them!
request - patterns, beading,
Build looks like this
jumpsuit + overskirt!
Be the destination
SHOP THE COLLECTION
Our brides love
An algorithm is a set
of guidelines that
describe how to
perform a task.
A social media
algorithm's task is
to decide what users
see when they log in.
Knowing how a platform's
algorithm works is like
learning to the rules of
a game. You need it to win!
The rules of every algorithm are different. As of June 2018, here are some tips for the
TOP 3 BRIDAL INDUSTRY SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
family and friends
is prioritized over
Work with it!
keeps your post
on more feeds.
BUT!Avoid 'Engagement Bait'!
The algorithm knows that phrases such as
"comment below if" and "tag someone who" are
meant to take advantage of its engagement
boundary, and punishes those posts!
Feeds are no
Your page isn't
showing up in
Go Live! FB wants
this feature to
catch on; take
advantage of that
Make sure your
profile is 100%
complete, or the
algorithm may show
other businesses that
share your name
ahead of yours.
Facebook owns Instagram.
Both sites limit what your
followers see unless you pay
for advertising. Remember
this is part of their business
model, meant to generate
revenue for them - It's your job
to make sure it also brings
revenue to your business!
Feeds are no
If users don’t engage
with you, they won’t
see when you post.
Since the feed
reach has dropped
to only 10%.
Work with it!
Post to your
Story! Your Story
buried in users'
feeds like other
that makes your
followers want to
tag their friends
and get talking!
The lifespan of a
post has risen
from 45 minutes
to 72 hours. Make
TIP! Hold off on fixing that typo!
Posts edited in the first 30 minutes perform poorly
compared to those edited later, or not at all.
Pinterest is a little different because it's a search engine, not a social media site.
However, it still uses an algorithm (called 'smart feed') to control what its users see in their feed and searches.
MAKE SURE YOU:
Include your location
in your Pins.
Use automation! Smart
feed does not
live and queued posts!
Make your first five pins
of the day count! They will
be more visible than the
by Deci Belfry
Use Pinterest's preferred
image dimensions of
600 x 900 pixels, or 2:3 ratio.
Choose up to 20 hashtags
and use them from now on!
(Don't waste time retroactively
tagging old posts - smart feed
only uses hashtags to help people
find new content!)
If you want to see how
you measure up after
making these changes,
ask a friend who doesn't
usually engage with your
brand to search for you.
Your own search results
Use Their Name
It may seem inauthentic to
include subscribers' names, but
statistics show it's worth it!
Social media is a tool to gain
visbility. Focus on ways your
followers can access your
content without someone else's
Don't Overdo It
Experts disagree on how frequently to
send newsletters. Scheduling 1-4 times
per month is enough to engage your
base without exhausting them.
It's An Email
Images are important,
but written content
should be the focus.
Keep It Simple
Keep your message
front and center.
have to try very hard
to find important
Check Your Score
Use the Wed Altered web
site score card to make sure
your site is well built, tells
your story, and is actually
bringing you brides.
Build A Relationship
Help customers get to
know you better. When
they do, they come in
already in love with your
store, your dresses, and
your team, which makes
the sale that much
Even though you're
not fighting an
algorithm, you should
still create content
that appeals to users'
desire to connect and
Build A Narrative
Give users a reason to keep
coming back and wanting
to see more. Let them
know who you are and
what you stand for.
Enjoy Your Freedom,
But Stay Consistent!
There is no algorithm forcing
you to post more often in order
to be seen, which is good but
can be a double-edged sword.
Set a schedule and stick to it -
let your readers look forward to
your next post.
TAKE ACTION AND GET RESULTS…
All this info can feel overwhelming. We get it. But improvement in your messaging, marketing,
and social reach means more brides and more sales....so pick something up and take action
today! Many individual steps will bring you a to completely different place in no time.
Want help? Grab the Website Scorecard, come join the discussion in the Wed Altered Facebook
group, and grab a ticket to LAUNCH - where Christen will be just one of the many experts present,
and will be speaking on all things digital and content marketing for bridal stores.
Are you still looking
for the right fit?
When you need someone who really gets
marketing strategy and bridal business, it can feel
like an impossible search. Well, that’s what we’re
all about! Let’s see how you can get your business
and your message out there so your perfect brides
just can’t wait to stop by.
Website Design & Copy
Click through to see more or email email@example.com.
Headpiece by Kata Banko
What you need to know...
by Brittny Drye
oday’s couples plan their
weddings on social media.
They look for inspiration,
answers to burning questions,
and for leads to help them find the
creative professionals they will
ultimately hire to bring their
dreams to life.
Your social media identity is
determined by your content and
your commentary. It is often the
first encounter a prospective client
has with your brand. Visual social
media content includes photos and
videos of your work from inspiration
shoots to real weddings to the work
of colleagues you admire and share.
If you welcome and serve a diverse
population of couples regardless of
race, size, orientation, your images
will reflect that authentically and
attract more of the same.
Inclusivity isn’t only about language
or images, it is a mindset that is
engrained in you — an eagerness to
work with all couples because
doing so matches your values. You
don’t see a plus-size bride, you see a
beaming woman who is a knockout
in her Ines Di Santo dress. You don’t
see a same-sex couple, you see two
women in love and the excitement
on their faces in the photo when
they slip into the gorgeous gowns
that you sold them.
When inclusivity is a value you
embrace every day, it effortlessly
shines through in your visual
content on social media.
Greed is an enemy to authentic
inclusivity. If you only add images of
different types of couples so you can
grow a new revenue stream, and
not because you truly accept the
values of a niche market, it will
show. Your efforts to attract certain
clients will be transparent and will
more likely drive them away.
Inclusivity Isn’t Tokenism
Tokenism is marketing to specialty
subgroups without being genuine
by using a limited number of
couples from a subgroup to
represent a larger trend. You are
guilty of tokenism when you luck
into serving two brides, for example,
and you use their images
everywhere to attempt to give the
impression that you work with
same-gender couples all the time.
Being truly equality-minded means
that your inclusivity is evidenced
throughout everything you do —
your marketing verbiage, your
social media presence, your
communication with couples. If you
throw up a photo of a same-sex
couple simply for the sake of
appearing like you are open to
working with them, but your staff
asks every new consult what her
“future husband’s” name is during a
fitting, you are guilty of tokenism.
Nurture an Inclusive Culture
There can be growing pains when
you try to become more inclusive.
Many wedding professionals make
assumptions and end up putting
their feet in their mouths. Assuming
that all prospects are cisgender in
hetero relationships has been a
common mistake for years. The
gender and orientation spectrums
are fluid, so you can’t put anyone in
a box. You have to approach every
new client consultation as an
opportunity to learn more. Practice
using open-ended questions and
building on information that your
clients provide you.
Accepting all couples regardless of
the race, gender, orientation, size or
other characteristics is one (noble
and desirable) thing. Claiming
elements of the minority culture as
your own is considered
appropriation because it represents
an imbalance. A straight wedding
professional can alienate a LGBTQ
couple by saying something like,
“oh, I have a cousin who is gay – I
love gay weddings!” This doesn’t
make you more relatable, instead it
confirms that you are singularly
focused on how different your
prospect or client is.
Instead of forcing the relationship,
Dresses in this picture by Pure Magnolia
Photo by Stacie Carr
practice the art of listening. Ask
questions that are designed to help
you learn as much about the unique
needs of every client as you can, a
good habit to have with any couple
regardless of race, orientation, etc.
Craft questions that avoid
presumptuous language and never
assume you know how someone
feels simply because you know one
of their characteristics. All people
are complex and multi-layered.
Serve the person, not the
Do Stay Current with Trends
While you don’t want to
pigeon-hole your clients, you should
actively stay informed about trends
that might help them make choices
or personalize their celebrations,
A note from the Editor:
and promote this through visual
content via your social media.
Demonstrating in your posts that
two women, for example might
choose to wear two dresses, a dress
and a wedding suit, a dress and a
tuxedo, two tuxedos or any
combination that fits their unique
personalities and identities gives
your audience options. Also,
providing training to your staff in
guiding transgender brides in
choosing silhouettes and styles that
complement their bodies allows
them to provide knowledgeable
guidance and superior service that
will naturally attract future clients
looking for the same level of
The key to authentically promoting
your inclusivity through your visual
social media content is to be
genuine and knowledgeable.
Couples of all types will recognize
your effort and reward you with
their trust and their most important
This is a really nuanced and important topic in the business world and our industry. Brittny laid a great starting foundation, so make sure to
take a look at her publication Love Inc. for more from her and her team! Brittny is an ally, and our LGBTQ team member Deci lent her direct
input in preparing this article and the rest of the issue. We were particularly glad to start this conversation during Pride Month, but there's so
much more work to do and other populations to bring into the discussion.
If you're an expert on inclusive business practices or if you're part of a marginalized group and have experienced the struggles of trying to find
a company that not only serves you but welcomes you with open arms, we would love to hear from you. Insight, stories, advice...anything you
want to share, we'd love to hear it and put it out to our awesome community.
If you're a business looking to always do better, there are great resources out there. We'll be continuing to talk about this regularly. Make sure
to follow and support the voices out there doing the work to help the industry tackle this. This article is a fantastic place to start: How to Avoid
Tokenism in the Wedding Industry by Nova Reid of Nu Bride.
Follow and support publications that speak to couples in marginalized populations, like Smash the Glass , Catalyst Wedding Co, Rock'n'Roll
Bride, Keep Weddings Weird, South Asian Bride Magazine, Off Beat Bride, and so many others. And take this genuine care and work into the
community, not just your business. Follow and support organizations, activists, and publications that talk about these things outside of the
wedding world. Take a stand, offer a hand, and be a voice. You've taken the awesome step to build yourself a platform in your community. Use
it to do the work that needs to be done.
Brittny Drye is the founder and editor-in-chief of Love Inc.,
one of the leading equality-minded wedding blog and
Her inclusive efforts have been celebrated by the New York
Times, The Advocate, OUT Magazine, Refinery29, NY Daily
News, Cosmopolitan, and more. She serves on the 2018-19
North American Advisory Board for the International
Academy of Wedding & Events.
Gown by Ysa Makino
Styling by Henris
Georgina Vaughn Photography
12-E107 - Building 3
Sales@StefanieSomers.com | 800.400.4312
Sleeves with some oomph
Not only are sleeves back, they’re not just fitted lace anymore. Statement styles have been all over the runway!
1 - Full lace sleeves on a soft fit and flare gown by Hyacynth Bridal
2 - Beading, a keyhole, lace, and sleeves, all brought together by Ellie Day
3 - Big time drama on an otherwise clean cut gown by Alonuko
4 - A soft color and short full sleeve by Nadia Manzato
5 - Open sheer sleeves with a detailed cuff by Adam Zohar
6 - It’s all about volume with this simple statement piece, also by Adam Zohar
Designer of Stefanie Somers
met Stefanie this year and was
lucky enough to see her debut
bridal accessories collection in
person. It’s the most spectacular
“debut” collections I’ve ever seen,
but that’s because Stefanie brings
over 20 years of designing for
pageant winners to the table.
What’s even more impressive than
her attention to detail and eye for
the perfect shape and shine is her
story. Despite her whole business
being torn apart by a rogue
manager while Stefanie was in the
hospital with her newborn, she
stuck to her passion and her
ideals, and she continues to
made-in-the-USA pieces to
women every day.
You're based near The
Woodlands, TX… tell us a
little about what sets your
Our studio is in the middle of
nowhere yet five minutes
from the center of
everything - it’s an incredibly
great place to be. We’re full
of trees and designer shops,
intriguing restaurants and
the Woodlands Waterway, all
less than an hour from
downtown Houston. There’s
nowhere I’d rather be.
What led to you starting
your line? What's your
bridal origin story?
Our pageant clients started getting
married - and started calling us! At
first we were doing a couple of
weddings a year, then 5, 10, 25… it
slowly became apparent that we
were IN the bridal business. On the
side. So we decided to make it
What's the inspiration behind your
debut bridal collection?
“Every woman deserves to feel like a
queen on her wedding day” - We
truly believe that, and we want our
clients to feel like they’re wearing
the Crown Jewels.
Why do you love what you do?
How can you not love playing with
sparkly things all day? Whether it’s
in PageantLand or the Big Day,
behind the scenes of life events is
rewarding, fulfilling, exasperating,
never boring and always fun. And
it’s so much fun to design
something that will always fit, and
be treasured as part of a memory.
Really, what could be better?
Price range - Bridal line: Jewelry, $29
to $199; Headpieces & Combs, $127
Production details - Handcrafted in
Texas using Crystals from
Team - We currently have a team of
seven and are searching for new
team members as we speak!
3 words to describe your brand -
Elegant, Edgy & Extravagant
3 words to describe your bride -
Confident, Enthusiastic & Involved
Are you bridal only or do you have
other kinds of lines- We were born
in the pageant world, it’s where
we’re best known, but we also
create jewelry for prom, red carpet,
and all “the events of your life.” A
magazine once wrote, “If you
remember the earrings they were
probably designed by Stefanie
How do you spread the work
around when things get
really busy? How does your
team work together?
I have the most incredible
team. My husband and I have
built the business together,
and my daughter and
son-in-law also work with us,
so it’s truly a family gig. Our
production manager has
been with me so long she’s
practically family too. We’re
very lucky in that most of us
are multi-faceted and can do
just about any task needed.
We’re very well-oiled at this
Who's a big business
inspiration for you and what
makes them so
This may sound a little corny, but
truly my mom. I grew up in her RTW
store, and learned the retail
business - she taught me how to
buy, to merchandise, about turn,
how to manage - it was all so
embedded in me so young I never
knew any different. At 17 I was going
to NY - by myself - loaded with an
open to buy and completely
responsible for her accessory
department. She’s gone now, but I
think she might have liked what
What has made you who you are
Ballroom dancing. It was a bit of a
turn and a rebellion at a “certain
age” after spending so much time
in my mom’s store. I spent about a
decade as a professional competitive
dancer - the whole Dancing
With The Stars thing, costumes and
all. I taught, performed, made
costumes (and decided I didn’t
want to do that for a living!) and
ultimately ended up in a Theatre
Arts BFA program. Then jewelry. Life
does that to you, right? Puts you
where you’re supposed to be, after
arming you with the tools you need.
What's a struggle you've faced and
how did it help you and your
There have been several, but the
most dramatic one came about
shortly after the birth of my son. My
son was quite premature, born at 32
weeks. Because I had a history of
preemie delivery (my daughter had
been born at just 27 weeks) my OB
team was nervous, and had me on
strict bedrest, which turned into an
extended hospital stay prior to his
birth. That equaled nearly three
months out of the studio. My
husband wasn’t yet working in the
business, so my manager at the
time was left in charge while I was…
gestating. We thought everything
was going well, but once I went into
the hospital - in downtown Houston,
more than an hour from home
- I lost the ability to stay in touch
well, and my husband had all he
could do to keep up with work and
me. When I could check in I was
assured that everything was fine
and not to worry. They had it under
After my son was born, and I
finally got to go home (leaving
him in the NICU in Houston for
another month), I walked into a
studio that had been trashed. It
was quite literally torn upside
down. Most of my inventory was
missing. My employees were gone,
there was a string of angry messages
from unpaid vendors, and a stack
of invoices and bounced checks. To
say I was in shock doesn’t begin to
My “manager” was nowhere to be
found. She had moved - she had
been living in our rent house (which
of course was trashed too) and no
one knew where she was. Most of
the employees wouldn’t talk to me,
and of course I had no idea why -
they all knew I had been in the
hospital having my son. Finally one
did. They’d all been slowly run off or
fired. Told that I had either abandoned
the business and wasn’t
coming back, or had sold it to the
manager. As I made phone calls to
my vendors, they had been told the
same thing. So had my customers.
My bank account was overdrawn
and my Amex was run wild - I’d left
neither available to her, yet there it
Bottom line: I had to start over. No
inventory, no credit, no employees,
reputation shredded and a mountain
of debt I hadn’t incurred for
goods I didn’t have. And a newborn
in NICU. If ever in my life there had
been a time I almost gave up, that
The one employee that told me
what had happened came back,
then another, and we started over.
It was awful. It was embarrassing,
explaining as best I could (or
wanted to) what had happened
over and over and over again to
vendors, clients and family. It made
me much more wary, and certainly
taught me the art of crisis management.
I’m cautious of handing over
degrees of responsibility even now,
and do it very slowly. I learned how
strong I can be when I have to -
which was a gift a few years later
when my mom was diagnosed with
Alzheimers. We had a very rough go
there for a while, but I learned that
if you’re tough enough and never
give up you can survive anything.
You just have to keep coming.
What's your favorite way to do
something special for brides or
When we have the opportunity, I
adore doing custom couture work
specifically for that special client.
The synchronicity of designer and
client, as well as the input of store
owner/stylist is unlike anything else.
When you get a good combination
of personalities, the right give and
take, magic can happen. To see the
vision realized, the client in the
gown with the jewels, the smile on
her face. Yup, that’s it!
What's a big vision or goal you
have for your business over the
next 5-10 years?
We’d like to become as much a
voice in bridal as we’ve become in
the pageant world. We’d like to be
big enough to have some things
made for us - specially cut
stones, some custom toolings,
that sort of thing - but we’d also
like to stay small enough to be
able to maintain our quality and
our connection to our clients.
“The only way to
do great work is to
love what you do.”
~ Steve Jobs
Don’t forget to
and get all our
Couture Bridal Vancouver
Surround yourself with the
believers and the doers, the
dreamers and the thinkers…
…but most of all, surround
yourself with those who see
greatness within you, even when
you don’t see it in yourself.
y Christen Schneider
How to Avoid
Pay attention to analytics.
This matters because it lets you focus on what's working and
drop things that aren't. That will drastically cut your time and
frustration while giving you the same (or possibly better) results.
For starters, use the analytics built into the platforms. Just
knowing when your followers are active and finding the best
times to post will increase your organic reach. When you
maximize your reach and you pair that with good content and
calls to action, you start to see results.
You can also track referrals from social media to your websites
and newsletter sign ups. That's a little more complex, but it's
completely free and a great way to see which platforms are
helping you. If you create special urls, you can even see which
specific posts are bringing in leads.
Have an intention setting time before you get to work.
Sit down once a week (or however often works for you) and look at your big goals
for your social media marketing. What events or sales goals are you aiming for?
What story or message do you want to share. Write those down and keep the notes
handy as you schedule posts.
This will increase your effectiveness, since your posts will be based on what matters
in your business and for your customers. When you see good results, you won't
resent the time spent posting.
It also makes the caption writing part easy! That clarity keeps you focused and you
don't feel like you're pulling topics out of thin air. Sometimes the biggest
contributor to burn out is feeling overwhelmed with the endlessness of possibility
and not knowing what comes next. Now you know!
Cooperate and share the love.
Find people in your industry with similar ideal brides that you love to work with and share
the load. You can coordinate styled shoots so that everyone has great content and the tags
from each other's accounts grows your following. You can feature them for an easy and fun
topic. You can repost their content (with good attribution and permission) and save
yourself some time while giving good value.
Social media is all about connection, and having a good team of professionals helps it stay
fun, keeps you accountable, and ignites your creativity. When there's so much noise and
you aren't being purposeful about your community building on social media, it can start to
feel really lonely and pointless. Take away the echo chamber vibe by getting in touch with
the right people and help each other come up with content as much as possible. More
exposure and less time behind the scenes...can't really go wrong there!
Have a long term formula.
Instagram feeds are the biggest example of this. Know the main types of posts you want
(i.e. dress pictures, real brides, your team and store, reception inspiration, shoes, coffee,
kittens, cookies, boats, whatever fits your brand's message). Plan the order you want them
to be in so your feed looks good and keep that guide around. You can immediately see
what topics you need more of to keep your audience engaged in your message!
For Pinterest, know what you want to post and repin each time so you can search, pin, and
hit the road and you don't get lost scrolling down endlessly. Facebook posts need variety,
like a mix of your own blogs and story telling, educational or industry articles, fun topics,
and social proof (happy customers). You also want a mix of text, pictures, and video
(preferably Live, since the algorithm likes it better). Twitter would be similar in variety of
topics, although the delivery varies.
Knowing how often and when you will post also helps you turn off without any worries or
feeling like maybe you should be doing something right then, which will be a big help in
fighting burn out.
Streamline and delegate what you can.
We talk about this a lot (even several other times in this magazine issue), but you
don't have to do every single thing yourself. Pay for help. Get photos done so you
have a bank of content. Start to train your staff to take over elements of your
social media campaigns. Automate as much as possible (see the article on tools
for this!) and repurpose content (there's a guide for that too!).
This is tough. Take an afternoon to make a good brand guide, get comfortable
with losing a little control, and take the time to properly train someone or set up
tools. It's a little work up front, but imagine how big of a relief it will be to have
whole parts of your to do list scratched off without moving a finger later on! If
you’re nervous about an employee with that responsibility, look at hiring an
agency or specialist.
Plan your interactions, too.
You need to be genuinely engaging with people, preferably your potential clients! But at the very
least, other people who are in the industry. It gets your own posts shown more, it puts your name
out there, and it builds real relationships. The problem is that it can take forever and feel so
But you can be genuine and intentional at the same time. Keep a list of people, pages, or
hashtags you're going to check in on a few times a week for 20-30 minutes. Work your way down
the list, liking, hearting, and commenting to your heart's content. And then get off and go do
something else you love!
Just promise me you'll leave comments that are more than 4 words, make sense, and show you're
an expert while speaking in your brand voice. No emoji dumps!
MOST OF ALL: Social media is supposed to be fun and all about
relationships. If you remember that, you’ll be all set!
5 HUGE Website Mistakes
You Can’t Afford to Make Anymore
by Christen Schneider
our website has less than half
a second to make an
impression on a new visitor.
Around 94% of that first
impression will be based on the
quality of the design of your site.
Those are slightly terrifying stats, if
you haven't been really, really
intentional about your website. If
you have, well, it was obviously time
and money well spent, right?
What's so important about a
website that performs well? While
brides LOVE social media to
connect with stores and designers,
it is a tricky arena. Algorithms shift,
trends change, and different target
markets pick different platforms to
fall in love with.
But the biggest bottom line fact?
You have no control on any social
media platform. You don't own it.
You can't change anything about it.
You're tied to their rules. They own
every follower, heart, and message
you earn. And they could shut you
Here at Wed Altered, we believe in
starting on your own turf and
making your website something
you're proud of and that does a
Then you can take that amazing
content you've pulled together and
use all your social media to connect
with potential brides and direct
them back to your site. That's where
there aren't a million notifications
to distract the reader, you're in
control, and no one can take that
away from you. (That's also why you
should build and use an email list!
We'll talk about that soon, too.)
So while we could talk about
websites and content marketing
every day (and do!), we thought
we'd boil it down to 5 huge mistakes
you can't afford to make.
You Have Bad,
Boring, or Off
Brand Design -
Your design and layout
need to take visitors on a very quick
and accurate journey to see what
your business is like and whether
you'll be a good fit for them.
Especially in an industry that relies
so heavily on visuals and is all based
around a purchase that brides are
often (understandably) uneasy and
very particular about, brides want to
know what to
expect from you.
If your layout is
poorly set up, they
won't notice the
important parts. If it
looks out of style or
dresses are too. We
are a luxury
industry, no matter
what end of the
price range you fall
on. You need a
reflects that. I know
that's kind of harsh
or shallow, but
think about it. They
are paying you
more than they
have ever paid someone before to
have a great eye for style, design,
and quality. Your online presence is
the first place you have to give them
proof 2of that.
a Reason to Like
and Trust You
On our in depth
this really falls under
the "Authority" and "Tone and Text"
sections. But what you say and the
way you say it is really important. I
know that sounds really basic. The
crazy thing is how frequently
businesses fail to do this well! It's a
really common shortcoming we
find when we're doing website
audits and it's one of the last to get
fixed, because it's more about
thinking and writing and less about
design and pictures. Let's be
honest...which sounds more fun to
you? A new styled shoot to update
your pictures or rewriting all of your
copy and planning your upcoming
blog posts to match up with your
The problem with that is that it's a
huge loss. Sure, a bride can find you,
like your dresses, and book an
appointment. That's great and
completely worth having a
beautiful website! We just said how
important design is to immediate
But it's just the beginning of what
your website could be doing to help
you actually sell, not just get traffic
through the door. When you take
the time to really plan out your
messaging and then assess what
you have or what you come up with,
then you can give them reason after
reason to both like and trust you.
You tell them stories, you give them
information, you reassure and guide
them...basically, you set the stage
for a great impression of the kind of
business you are and how fantastic
it's going to be to work with you.
Those impressions are made on the
first website visit and they'll stick
with the brides. Having people
rooting for you to sell them
something is a pretty wonderful
thing. Why would you pass it up?
They can't easily
get ahold of you
or schedule an
People who can't
find a quick solution
to a problem will
often give up. That includes
contacting you to make an
appointment and possibly spend
money. Easy customer experience
is a top driving factor in increased
customer satisfaction AND in a
10%+ increase in revenue,
according to Forbes.
You should make contacting you,
following you, and any other action
you want brides to take incredibly
easy. If you haven't given them lots
of quick places to get ahold of you,
you will be missing out on high
quality leads who are already warm
enough to be on your site. That's a
lot of potential money to leave on
Visuals are processed
and remembered at a
very high rate. While
you need written
storytelling to really
elaborate on your
message, the pictures set
the stage. If you don't
feature your best sellers,
brides won't be tempted to
come see them. If you
don't feature your team,
brides won't perceive you
as a personal small
business setting (which is
one of your strengths,
right? Why not sell it that
way?). If you have blurry or
out of date pictures, brides
will assume you are a
struggling business, are
behind the times, or don't
do basic business
Pictures are a huge part of
the first impression and
important for drawing the
brides through your
website so that they get a
chance to read and absorb
your story. It puts a face on
your business and makes
them more likely to want
to work with you. It lets
them visualize themselves
in your samples before
they even make it through
the door. It's powerful.
Don't skip it.
5Not Using a Blog
The Right Way
Blogs are free, simple,
underutilized. They're a
powerful tool for your
business and you should be using
them. You could be doing all the
other website things perfectly, and
still not be doing what it takes for
the most possible leads to see it or
interested brides to come back and
make a purchase.
A blog lets you touch on all kinds of
topics that set up great
expectations around what brides
will experience. Educate them,
share inspiration that's on brand for
your styles, show them the behind
the scenes stuff. Basically, keep
them up to date with the story that
makes up your business and
mission. Why is this important?
Because. The internet moves
quickly. Things need to stay current.
Your blog is how your website does
that. We don't change the main
pages all that often. Your blog is like
a newsfeed on social media, but
with more depth and completely
under your control.
It helps search engines find you
better, which is a huge deal and
directly relates to more qualified
leads coming across your site and
through your doors.
THE BIG PICTURE
Your website is a collection of pieces
that work together. The design
grabs a visitors' attention right away
and directs their eye to what you
want them to see, read, hear, and
do. Your pictures keep them
engaged and give them a great
idea of your overall business style
and products. Will you have
something they'll actually love?
Then what you have to say lets
them know that you're the store
whom can be trusted to get it and
have the process go well. Your blog
is part of that message, while also
being a key tool for getting the tech
to show all of this to as many
potential brides as possible.
How do you know
if your website
measures up to all
By taking the time
to look through all
of it and be really
yourself about the
tweaks now and
then. And ask your
past or potential
just say "whatdya think?". Know
what you want the site to
accomplish and ask them questions
so you can see if it is and where it
may be falling short from an
outside point of view.
Once you have an to-tweak list, be
consistent and change things as
quickly as you can without
upsetting your business. You need
to get it done. Get a buddy, find an
expert (we can help!), make a bunch
of calendar reminders...whatever it
takes. But don't ignore the shifts to
the one platform that's 100% in your
control that could make a big
difference in your appointment
rates, sales, and conversions.
Christen heads up Wed Altered and loves every bit of it.
Her experience as a designer, store owner, and teacher
all fit right in to Wed Altered’s mission to support independent
bridal business owners in putting together the
strategy, branding, and marketing to grow their business
in a way that blasts past their goals and builds a life they
enjoy in the process.
If she’s not enjoying her family, you’ll find her working
with clients, reading, planning, editing this magazine,
and talking all thing bridal and wedding with the Wed
EmilyKotarski.com • 484 459 8782 • firstname.lastname@example.org
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Wholesale Gown Care
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it's not just the camera...
Smartphone Photography 101
Professional photographers are a key asset to any business that sells material
goods. However, the importance of constant and quality social media presence
means that a significant portion of your content will be created in-house.
Here are some tips from a former pro to make the best of what you've got!
Tip #1 : Get A Device With A Well-Performing Camera.
- Not all smartphone cameras are built alike, and megapixels matter less than lens
quality and processing power
- Top performers include Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, and Google Pixel. If you
can't afford the latest model, don't be afraid to buy an earlier one.
- Many high-end phones from 2016 still out-perform budget phones of 2018, and at
a similar price point
by Deci Belfry
BLU R1 HD, 2017
$100 on Amazon
Google Pixel, 2016
$195 used on eBay
True to color
Most details intact
These two photos were scaled to the
same size, not cropped.
The R1 HD had to be held much farther back than the Pixel
to get the same shot. A wider angle helps get more
information in the photo - especially important in small
This is the difference between a quality flagship phone and a
* These were the two devices the author had on hand.
This is not an advertisement!
Tip #2: Utilize Natural Light If You Can, Wisely!
Photography is about
capturing light. While you
can adjust fill light in apps
like Instagram, working with
good light from the start is
Natural light is the best light!
If you're lucky enough to have
a big shop window, take
Photograph your subject with
the light at a 45-degree angle
to the dress.
Avoid light sources behind
the subject. This casts
shadows onto the dress that
are less than attractive!
Tip #3: Control The Natural Light Available To You
Photographers use bounce
cards to soften harsh, direct
You can get the same effect
by holding anything large
and white on the shadowy
side of your subject.
In this image, the natural
light is coming from centerleft.
A white piece of foam
board was held ~12 inches
from the right side of the
dress, just out of frame.
✓The image on the right using
this technique is much
clearer due to the
brightening of those
Tip #4: Lower The Phone
If you watch a
photographer on the
job, you see them in
all variety of positions
to get the right shot.
For mannequins and
detail shots where
there are no faces
involved, you can
simply lower the
phone from eye level
to chest level; it's
subtle, but gives your
photo a different,
often classier feel.
Tip #5: Pay Attention To The Background
Watch out for
distractions in the
background such as
cords and outlets!
If the background
isn't good where your
natural light is, put
up curtains behind
the subject in a color
that resonates with
You'll notice there isn't a cross or a check
on the bottom images. There is no right
or wrong answer here - just a choice you
get to make!
Note how the lines in the background of
the left image are on a diagonal, but the
lines of the right are horizontal.
There are pros and cons to both - one
could say the diagonal draws the eye to
the dress, or that the horizontal is
straightforward. Pay attention to how
often you post either, and think about
sticking to one or the other!
Stay in the loop...
Wed Altered has more issues coming out,
a big event in New York during Bridal
Week, and Christen is making the rounds
speaking at Launch and other events.
Want to know the details?
Dresses by Nora Sarman
Dresses by Anya Dionne
Subscribe to get all the info!
Dress by Nuorikko
by Jacqui Wadsworth
t’s not just for academia
anymore. The advent of social
media popularity has
with your local brides or your
product buyers. There has never
been a better way to target in on
your clients with paid ads, than
there now is with
Facebook/Instagram! You can
spend as little as $1/day and still
reach 75 to 100 possible clients if
you have targeted properly. The
catch is you must create daily posts
to tell your business life story. We
must throw out everything we think
we know about what Wedding and
Bridal ads and posts should look like
and pay attention to what our
followers like and comment on, or
what they find engaging, if you will.
Every online site has a purpose.
Your corporate branding is for your
website. Your finished photos are
for Pinterest, polished photos are for
traditional print ads, and
Facebook/Instagram are for
personalizing your brand.
There is no business quite like yours.
Your step by step journey is
fascinating to others, if you are
brave enough to share it. Instead of
perfect branding with the
background the same and photo
shop editing skills being used, you
focus on your process, personality
and products. Use the smart phone
in your pocket and take photos of
everything you do, from daily
routines to client meetings.
Unpacking fabrics or trims,
sketches of dresses, behind the
scenes at photo shoots, photos of
chatting with clients….all of these
things are interesting to today’s
bride or wedding business owner. If
you feature your clients on your
page and let them know it, you will
find your page and presence
Social media is our first step in
creating relationships with our
potential clients. If you use your
posts and ads to illustrate who you
are, what your goals are, what your
mission is, and show the day to day
minutia of your business, you will
find your perfect clients. You will
find yourself chatting with them in
the comments on your posts & ads.
Then you will find that you are
meeting them in person and
enriching those connections.
Just as retail store hours are
consistent, so should your social
media posts and ads be consistent.
Posting at least once a day,
everyday is a good starting point,
but two or three times is even
better. You’ll want to use
inspirational quotes, funny memes,
wedding related posts, and shout
outs to your related wedding
business partners as tagged posts
are all ways to get your post
schedule filled. More importantly,
making some of your posts fun or
educational will make you and your
accessible to your
Accessibility is a
key word for
success on your
heart shows that
you are human,
too. It shows that
you care about
your clients as
much as you care
money. We are all
looking for true connections. Social
media allows you to create these
Recommended Daily Post
Schedule: 8:45 am, 11:45am,
Finding and sharing your business
voice is critical to success on Social
Media. What is your business vibe?
What is your goal? How do you
make your clients feel? These
questions will help you develop
your social stories. For example, our
bridal store’s motto is Fun with
Friends and Fashion. So, we try to
drive a certain amount of posts
every week around this theme.
We pair the idea with other events
and projects like preparing for a
local bridal show, where we
showcase models during fittings, to
our staff packing up the goodies for
our booth, to booth design. Then
we follow by showing brides in our
booth and at the fashion show
during the event. Our goal is to
make our brides have a life time
shopping experience, so we feature
them from their first visit at a bridal
show to their visit to our store to
their wedding day. We show them
they are welcome by our posts
featuring other brides. We show
photos and videos of our store and
all our activities.
All of this helps them know what to
expect when they arrive in our store.
After working on our social media
since 2013, I know it makes them
want to come to our store. We are
now a regional store with brides
arriving from the 5 surrounding
states. They will drive up to 5 hours
to visit us. We extended our ad area
coverage as we grew our bridal
We achieved all of this by posting,
weighing and measuring, then
e-applying as we paid attention
to what our brides liked and
didn’t like in our posts and ads.
One of the biggest complaints
from brides is that small
businesses do not have much info
online. Over 97% of brides use
social media to decide on the
products and services for their
If you have a strong social
presence, you will see more
business coming your way year
after year. Branding is a day after
day, month after month, year
after year activity. The sooner you
get started, the sooner you will
find your voice, be heard by your
chosen followers, and see brand
It is supported industry wide from
stores and designers to
trendsetter sites like The Knot,
Wedding Wire, Bridal Guide, Vows
and Bridal Boutiques.US.
To find out more about the event, go
If you’d like assistance in social
media training, as well as in
consistent advertising, reach out to
me at BridalBoutiques.US@gmail.com
or call my office at (865)428-5250.
Bridal Boutiques.US is a social media
advertising group of stores and
designers. We advertise 365 days a
year to develop our brands and to
personalize the bridal industry.
A great way to soak into the
bridal industry is to participate in
National Bridal Sale Event. This
event happens every year in July.
Dress by Renegade Bridal
Jacqui Wadsworth began her career negotiating textile deals
for the garment industry. She opened her boutique, The Gilded
Gown, in Knoxville in 2008. After spending crazy amounts of
money on traditional advertising with radio, print and TV ads,
Jacqui was not satisfied with the results. Determinedto get
brides in the door affordably, Jacqui began utilizing Facebook
ads to micro-target local clients. She spent years fine-tuning
her marketing skills and has a proven system for engaging
brides, for generating a buzz online, and most importantly for
driving customers into her store.
A fierce advocate of the industry, Jacqui decided to do her part
to help other store owners and manufacturers. These days she
offers her Facebook Ads & Management skills through her
bridal store branding business, BridalBoutiques.US. She created
BridalBoutiques.US to provide a trendsetting place online in
support of independently owned bridal salons and bridal gown
designers. BridalBoutiques.US is a proud sponsor of the
National Bridal Sale Event and handles their Facebook and
Instagram accounts. She has been a popular featured speaker
on Branding and Advertising on Facebook at BBG (Better
Bridal Group), at Atlanta’s Americas Mart, at the Chicago
Market and at the Wedding MBA.
- P.T. BARNUM
by Christen Schneider
You Have to Ask:
Don’t leave out the most important part of your message.
You and your team invest hours of time into your messaging. You work hard to build an audience,
learn the systems, automate, tweak, perfect, and share. You make connections, provide value, and
make sure to be accessible. All of this hard work and putting yourself and your business out there
is so that you can serve more brides and bring in more sales, right?
That won’t happen if you don’t ask! You have to have a call to action (CTA).
Your posts should have a purpose behind them and you should know how you want your followers
to respond. When you figure that out, you need to make sure you let them know. Be really clear
and direct, but not demanding.
“Call to make an appointment today at ------------!”
“Tell us about a person who inspires you!”
“Double tap if you love this as much as we do!”
“Vote to tell us which sash you think finishes off this look best!”
Don’t let a fear of asking or plain forgetfulness take away the impact of your shares. Build up a
bank of ideas for calls to action, keep them around to give you ideas of what to say, and be diligent
about building up the habit of telling people exactly what you’d love for them to do.
A great call to action gets people interested and keeps them involved. You want to tap into the
emotions and desires your ideal clients have, build up anticipation, and draw attention to the
reward or results. Make them feel like part of your community and invested in what you do and
how you can help them.
And if you need help brainstorming some great ideas of posts, marketing, or calls to action, hop in
our Facebook group just for bridal businesses. We love talking all about it!
THANK YOU FOR
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