The Wedding Hacker Expo is Coming… Here’s Your Free Ticket and Gift

Guys! So excited it’s finally August because that means The Wedding Hacker Virtual Expo is this month!! Mark your calendars for August 17 and 18!

If you are engaged and planning your wedding, this is an event you don’t want to miss. Also, did we mention that it’s all completely FREE and online? So yes, tune into this first-of-its-kind virtual event with us and watch from the comfort of your home, local coffee shop, work… (we won’t tell)!

30 world-class personal finance and wedding pros (including WedBrilliant founder, Melissa Wilmot!) will walk you through topics such as:

  • How to Score a Luxury Wedding Day Look for a Fraction of the Price
  • Five Steps to Setting a Solid Financial Foundation with Your Future Spouse
  • Honeymoon Hacking: The Simple Way to Earn a Free Honeymoon While Planning Your Wedding
  • How to Plan a Wedding that Photographs Beautifully
  • How to Work with Your Wedding Venue to Negotiate a Win-Win
  • How to Cut the Drama from Your Wedding (Or at Least Control It)

In addition to a free ticket to the expo, we are also giving FREE digital copies of The Wedding Hacker: A Budget-Minded Playbook. This 130+ page book discusses:

  • Money-saving guidance for your wedding day
  • Wedding industry secrets
  • Scoring the best deals
  • Owning your wedding day vision
  • How to enjoy the wedding planning journey!

Snag your FREE TICKET and your free digital copy of The Wedding Hacker: A Budget-Minded Playbook TODAY! See you there!

Wedding Pro Wednesday: WedBrilliant

Wedding Pro Wednesday is a weekly blog post series by our friends at The Wedding Hacker, aimed at featuring amazing creatives, creators and industry experts. These wedding pros share a little about their business and passion for their craft, and some professional guidance for those planning on a slim budget. We’ve included their most recent post featuring our founder, Melissa, here!

We know very well that planning a wedding can be stressful, especially in this day and age with the internet and social media; there are a plethora of businesses and vendors to choose from for your special day and it can feel overwhelming. Facing loads of options can be daunting, but what if we told you there is an easier way to sift through vendors? And ones that offer exactly what you’re looking for and fit right with your budget?

Founder and CEO, Melissa Wilmot, found a solution to that problem and created WedBrilliant. WedBrilliant is an online marketplace for engaged couples and wedding professionals alike. This site allows couples to post their wedding needs and receive bids from a list of vendors across the nation, then couples can select the vendors that are a best match. After, clients leave wedding vendor reviews to help future engaged couples make educated decisions as they plan for their wedding.

What is your background? How did you get started with the wedding industry?

Prior to this I was actually in public relations, so I had no background in the wedding industry. WedBrilliant came out of a need that my husband I had. We were living in Portland and got married in my parents backyard in San Diego. It was so hard to find vendors in all the different categories when we were two states away. I was having my mom meet with photographers, and florists. We weren’t there to narrow down a number of vendors to meet with; it was a shot in the dark with our online research and was a lot of work. I ended up having to fly out a number of times to meet with countless people.

After that process, I saw that there was a need in the marketplace. It took years ultimately of talking to other couples and trying to figure out the best solution. Finally, I thought of an easier way to select vendors: for them to bid on parts of a wedding.

How did you come up with the name WedBrilliant?

I jotted down so many concepts about what this business would do. And after sharing my idea with others, so many people responded that this was a “brilliant idea!” So that was pretty much how the company got its name. Also, it was a fun play on words with the idea of wedding rings and their brilliance.

How did you find these vendors?

At first, it was a word of mouth effort. We had a handful sign up shortly after we launched the company. In Portland, where we’re based, there are tons of vendors and each have their own network that they would share WedBrilliant with. That’s how we started picking up some steam. We’ve also done some outreach to vendors through Pinterest ads and Facebook ads, but overall it’s been organic growth. We hope to start a huge outreach campaign in the future.

How many and what kinds of vendors do you have at WedBrilliant?

We have more than 4,000 vendors across the country! We have vendors including wedding planners, photographers, DJs, catering companies, bakers, tux rental shops, wedding dress designers, as well as hair and makeup artists. We even offer couples access to wedding officiants and premarital counseling, and food trucks. We cover all the bases!

Can you describe the process of setting up an account with WedBrilliant as a vendor or a customer looking to hire vendors?

For Couples:

You can create a quick profile for free. You’ll add the key details such as location and how many guests you’re expecting. Once couples do that, you can immediately start posting requests. Couples can propose their estimated budget and post their specific needs and wants. Once they hit “submit,” it goes out and our vendors in those categories get an alert. And none of it is hidden, they can go call the vendor separately and set up a time to meet, and drill down the details

For Vendors:

The process for vendors is similar to the sign up process for couples. When they create their account they will note the region they live in, their professional background, as well their work experience/portfolio. They can upload photos and reviews, and they can choose to be a member for $5 a month or $50 for the entire year. If they’re not ready to commit to paying a monthly/yearly fee, they can host a free profile page, so it’s a very low cost of way of advertising.

What are the general price ranges of these vendors? Would you say that their prices fit for all budgets?

There are vendors to suit a range of budgets. For sure!

We’ve had couples come in with a total budget of $50,000 who are more hands-off with the planning and lean on a planner to find the right vendors. We also have vendors meeting price points that range from $1000-$4000 for photography for instance, so couples can choose to go with the lowest cost option, if they want.

There is definitely a range, from the higher-end boutique vendors down to people who are starting off in their careers, and are going to offer their work for a lower price. WedBrilliant generally skews to couples who are on a budget, so I think this is a great way for people to help stay on a budget.

A common problem I hear from many couples in the process of wedding planning is that they end up interviewing so many vendors that they have trouble deciding, do you have any tips on how to narrow down your decision and finding the right vendor for you?

Deciding on the right vendor can be overwhelming. Everyone has their own social media page to explore and you can really get lost. By the very nature of what WedBrilliant does, it can help simplify this process. It is a great tool for narrowing down your options to a smaller group of vendors who meet the specific criteria that a couple is looking for.

Can you share some of your best wedding tips and tricks for couples aiming to stay within their budget?

Yes, I have a few tips and tricks that I’d love to share:

  • I think the power of using your network is huge, so I’d say don’t hesitate to tap into the network you already have and just ask. Couples that tap into friends or family to source vendors can find great deals, and reduce hassles.
  • When looking at venues, be open to having your wedding on non-weekend days or at least non-Saturdays.
  • When it comes to florals, choose the flowers that are in season.
  • Lastly, when it comes to alcohol for a wedding, serve the nicer wines earlier on. Serve the cheaper wine later on because there’s a good possibility that the guests won’t even notice a difference as the rest of the night goes on!

Photo Booth Fun

We’re excited to share a little about WedBrilliant pros, Fun Fab Photo Booths & DJs. Looking for a fun, reliable provider of photo booth rentals in the Houston, College Station, Galveston, Huntsville or Bay City areas? Check them out.

They offer open air, enclosed and green screen options with the highest quality photos and guaranteed fun for your wedding guests. All of their rentals include flash drives, custom graphics, on-site attendants with great customer service, print outs for your guests, and of course fun props!

We love a good photo booth and the fun it creates! Check out Fun Fab Photo Booths & DJs, and head over to post your own wedding needs for WedBrilliant vendors to submit customized bids on!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We Polled Our DJs: How much do they charge?

We launched WedBrilliant with the express purpose of helping our happily engaged couples find great wedding vendors and get bids on all your wedding needs. But, if you’re starting the wedding planning process and not sure how much budget to allocate to various components of your wedding, we are here to help you out. We polled our talented DJs around the nation and are sharing the average amount they charge for weddings… Now that you know this info, head over to request bids for your own wedding!

How much do you charge couples for basic wedding DJ services for approximately 3-6 hours?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Illustrate Your Love Story

You’re engaged, yay! You’re happy and can’t stop peeking at the ring on your finger, recognizing the significance behind it and planning the big day pretty much 24/7. Right? As you should be!

And we’re excited for you! I mean, we’re in the wedding business because we are obviously obsessed with weddings! Looking for a little inspiration? We’ve got just what you need with these amazing shots captured by WedBrilliant wedding photographer, Rachel of Peace Love Shoot Photography. As she, herself, says, her goal is to ensure that “each couple has the images to illustrate their love story.” And we’d agree that she accomplishes that!

 

 

 

 

A Camera (and photographer!) Ready for Adventure

When you’re searching for an engagement or wedding photographer, here’s one of the best pieces of advice to keep in mind – find a photographer who loves what they do. That love transfers directly into the experience you’ll have with them.

A WedBrilliant photographer who clearly loves what she does? Whitney Lyons of Whitney Lyons Photography fits that description! She’s a visual storyteller with a clear passion for what she does. It comes across in her photography and the way she approaches capturing special occasions for her clients. From the touching candid shots of happy couples and their guests at the reception to perfectly unplanned moments of tenderness, it’s clear Whitney’s a true professional. Her dozen years of experience and background in photojournalism are just two of the assets she offers. And while she’s based in the beautiful Northwest, as she says, “my passport and camera are always ready for the next adventure!”

Wedding Music to Set the Stage

When it comes to selecting what music you will have at your wedding, you have a number of options. Have you been thinking about musicians for the ceremony? What you’ll have during the cocktail hour? And what about what’s going to get your guests on the dance floor at the reception?

First step? Check out the variety of incredibly talented wedding musicians and DJs we have here at WedBrilliant. Take, for instance, Ocdamia Strings, ceremony musicians playing music ranging from classical to contemporary and anything in between. Most of their musicians have masters degrees in music performance – true professionals. And, they are known for serving multi-cultural clients by taking the time to learn different cultures and traditions to ensure every wedding goes smoothly and is unforgettable. Ocdamia Strings musicians discuss goals with each couple they work with and will always make sure that couples get beautifully performed songs on their big days!

Looking to hire great musicians for your wedding? Post a request on WedBrilliant and receive bids from talented wedding pros!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Color Us Happy!

When it comes to selecting your wedding colors, what factors help create the perfect palette for your special day? You will undoubtedly get input from parents, siblings, best friends, neighbors, and maybe your mail person, but it’ll boil down to what feels “right” for you and your loved one and best represents the two of you! To get you started thinking about it, here are some pointers:

  1. Look around your home. Is there an obvious color scheme going on? What color are your kitchen walls, your bedroom? Open up your closet and see if you subconsciously (or not) lean towards certain hues. These are all good hints as to what colors will make you happy on your wedding day, and bring back those fond memories for months and years to come.
  2. Location, location, location. If you have selected your venue already, think about what colors will work best for the ceremony and reception. Are you having the reception in a large ballroom? Feel free to go for deeper, brighter colors since they won’t dwarf the room much. Is your ceremony cliff side over the Pacific Ocean? Incorporate natural blue and green shades that take the surroundings into consideration.
  3. Tis the season. One big way that your colors will come into play is in your floral selections. So, why not start with determining what flowers and plants are in season when you’re getting married. Sit down with yoColor Us Happyur florist to discuss what will be available and fresh (and better priced) and use those ideas to help narrow down some colors.
  4. Use the color wheel. Now don’t laugh, but remember when you were in grade school and used a color wheel to learn about primary and secondary colors? Well, this could be helpful as you select your wedding palette. Colors opposite each other on the color wheel are often pleasing to the eye since they pair warm and cool hues.
  5. Get inspiration! This may be an obvious one, but one of the best ways to determine the right colors for your wedding is to look at what others couples have done and see if anything jumps out at you. From flowers to bridesmaids dresses, you’ll be able to get a real sense of how various colors work together on the bid day. Check out Style Me Pretty or Pinterest to get your creative juices flowing.

Ultimately, while each couple’s wedding palette is a deeply personal choice and a decision to give serious consideration to, have fun with the process and don’t let it overwhelm you. You want to look back and have only happy memories stem from the colors you choose!

Brrrr… It’s Time To Plan Summer Weddings!

It may be the week of Halloween, but there’s no better time to kick start summer wedding planning! We have visions of tea lights, pastel flowers and fruity signature cocktails dancing in our heads. So, without further ado, here’s a short list of action items every summer bride and groom need to be focused on right now.

1. Sign up for free on WedBrilliant.com (if you haven’t already!) and begin to post your wedding needs. These can range from linens for the reception to a DJ with AV and lighting equipment. You don’t have to post all your requests at once, you can always return and add more. If you have the time, select the option to post your bid requests for 3 weeks so WedBrilliant vendors have plenty of time to view your needs and submit bids. Once you start getting bids, read through them and take a look at vendor reviews and photos to make your decision. It’s all free for couples to use – so get started!

Photo Courtesy: Catherine Colgan Photography

Photo Courtesy: Catherine Colgan Photography

2. Have you selected your venue? If so, great – that’s one of the biggest hurdles since those can often book up quickly, especially in summer months! If you haven’t, turn your attention to figuring that out right away. If your ideal spot is already booked on your wedding date, consider a Friday or Sunday wedding instead. Or ask the venue if they might accommodate two weddings in one day. If yours is a morning wedding with a wedding brunch, some venues can still keep the evening wedding they might already have on the books! Win win.

3. Now’s the time to really drill down on a theme, or at least what you want your colors to be. This is such an important piece that truly impacts so many different facets of your wedding planning. Once you’ve determined what your color scheme will be, get thinking about accents for the bridal party (bridesmaids dresses, ties, etc.), flowers, and your stationery…

4. Speaking of stationery… gather some ideas for save the dates, invitations, programs and more (have you checked out our fun Pinterest board?), post your needs on WedBrilliant to receive bids from fabulous wedding stationery designers across the country, and then really start focusing on the wording. Every couple has a different style and voice, so decide what yours is and put some ideas down on paper! Just writing down ideas, no matter how many times, can be extremely helpful!

Good luck planning! Before you know it, the trees will be blossoming again and your special day will be around the corner!