At Estate Weddings and Events we are primarily concerned with providing all the details of location and ambience for your wedding. Other websites, like WeddingLovely, do it all.
Ever since we started listing our estates on WeddingVenueLove in June, we've been admiring its pleasantly simple design. Today, we have the honor of sharing our interview with Tracy Osborn, the founder of WeddingLovely and its subsites WeddingInviteLove, WeddingPhotoLove and WeddingVenueLove, to name a few. Osborn shared with us the inspiring story behind WeddingLovely's beginnings and how she plans on changing the wedding planning world, one bride at a time. Don't miss out on her insider venue selection tips either!
Read the full interview below to learn all about this one-woman-team went from starting a wedding invitation directory, to a full wedding website empire!
About Wedding Lovely
What inspired you to start WeddingLovely?
Osborn: I'm trained as a graphic designer and I've always loved wedding invitations — they're a piece of print design that'll never be completely replaced with online equivalents due to the tradition and importance of the print wedding invitation. There are also so many amazing wedding invitation designs — the possibilities for design are endless. They've always been my favorite guilty pleasure!
I wanted to learn how to code and when I was thinking of a project, wedding invitations, and by extension, wedding invitation designers, came to mind. I wanted to support amazing small-business wedding invitation studios and stationers and make it easy to find and work with them. So I started building a directory to showcase those designers, which turned into WeddingInviteLove.com. WeddingInviteLove took off, so I started spinning the concept off into more directories, like WeddingPhotoLove.com for WeddingVenueLove.com to showcase wedding venues.
At this point, I really wanted to build something directly for engaged couples, so I built WeddingLovely.com — our online wedding planner and wedding website app. Couples can add their wedding date, preferences, and location, and receive a customized wedding plan to walk them through the process of planning their wedding. All in all, the entire WeddingLovely collection of websites has hit 10 different properties — crazy since I am still the only developer, designer, and marketer!
What does your user base look like?
Osborn: The engaged couples we work with are usually United States-based (since our wedding plan assumes US traditions), but we also work with vendors worldwide. We know that our engaged couples are generally in their 20-30s, but we love and welcome engaged couples of all ages!
What surprised you about starting your site?
Osborn: How wonderful working with wedding vendors would be! We're all small-businesses, and it was amazing how supportive and helpful wedding vendors would be with WeddingLovely. I'm truly blessed to be working with such wonderful people.
What is the biggest question brides ask about venues?
Osborn: Pricing is usually the biggest concern. Everyone would love to have their big day at the most ornate, amazing venue, but unfortunately a lot of times budgets don't match up. It's the main reason we've recently launched a feature so venues (and service vendors) can add specific prices to their WeddingLovely vendor profiles, so couples can know upfront what their cost would approximately be.
How important do you think the venue is compared to other vendors?
Osborn: The most important! Location, location, location. Your venue will set the stage for the theme of the wedding — from a classic hotel wedding to an earthy, non-traditional forest wedding. This is why venues are usually chosen first in the vendor process!
Any insider tips on choosing venues?
Osborn: Find out about hidden costs that might sneak in. Some venues may charge extra to bring in your own bartender, or even buying your own alcohol. Venues also may require you to use their own caterers or florists. These little things might add up pretty quickly!
What trends do you see about 2014 weddings?
Osborn: Wedding colors are getting brighter and more fun! This has been a trend I've been watching grow over the last few years — now weddings with bright, even neon colors, are becoming very trendy. I love the exuberance of these new color themes.
Another trend has been having high-tech weddings and receptions – there are so many apps now that couples can use at their wedding, from collecting guests' videos and photos in one place, running wedding playlists, and more. Funny thing is, there has also been a small backlash against tech too, and some weddings now require that guests refrain from using their smart-phones during the ceremony!
Any sneak previews of upcoming developments with Wedding Lovely? What does the future of the site hold?
Osborn: We're working on a complete revamp of our wedding planning product, WeddingLovely.com — streamlining our wedding planning to-do list and suggestions, bringing in more wedding website themes, and improving the connection with our vendors. Couples will also soon be able to review their wedding vendors directly from their WeddingLovely profile. On the vendors side, we're almost ready with vendor analytics, so our vendors can see how much traffic their profiles are getting. This'll come with a complete vendor dashboard revamp as well, to make it easier for vendors to add their prices, recommend other vendors, and more.
To find out more about Tracy and WeddingLovely, visit WeddingLovely's About Us here.
Read Estate Weddings and Event's guest blog on WeddingLovely, "What To Expect for a Private Estate Wedding" here.