Planning a wedding often becomes a frustrating, full-time project. But now the bride-to-be can get needed news, advice, products and services through the Internet. As the wedding industry increasingly relies on the Internet to reach current and potential customers, savvy brides “surf the Net” for selection and service. They and wedding vendors now do business quickly while on-line. A bride in California, for example, can find and purchase a veil in New York in just minutes.
Each month, Weddingpages uses the Internet to provide more than 1.6 million brides-to-be valuable information. The wedding industry is huge, so Weddingpages uses its “wed-site” to quickly link those brides with needed vendors and services.
“We have our Internet site set up to provide brides with features, valuable information and helpful suggestions – all with a local feel,” said Tammy Werner, director of marketing for Weddingpages Publishing Inc. in Omaha, Neb. She said the “wed-site” is an interactive way for the bride to get needed information. “The ‘wed-site’ takes her back to her local vendors, to people in her own community. That way, she can work with them face-to-face,” Werner said. “The site’s advertising directory is set up like our magazines and planners. The bride can request her free, in-depth wedding planner through the ‘wed-site.’”
It has OPENED doors for brides that were not open BEFORE.
Other features include local wedding-day weather forecasts, a “site map” link for wedding day travel and comprehensive city directories that let brides shop for products and services in local or distant markets.”
Weddingpages has working relationships with industry professionals who use its website to inform brides-to-be of valuable products and services.
Dori Nichols, president and CEO of Moulin D’or Recordings, Inc., in Arlington, Texas, is a Weddingpages Internet partner who provides pianist Danny Wright’s The Ultimate Wedding Collection CD to brides through a link to the Weddingpages website.
“The Internet is used as an important tool to deliver information to brides and grooms about our music and other wedding industry services,” Nichols said. “We are a recording label, and the Internet is a resource we use inform customers of our new releases. The Internet gives customers an opportunity to sample our music in their own homes.”
When respondents request information, Moulin D’or Recordings sends them a cassette tape, catalog and discography of their 24 labels, including the wedding album. The information packet includes facts discussing their label and Wright, their top recording artist.
Deb McCoy, a nationally renowned wedding expert and author, hosts the Wedding Information Center on the Weddingpages website. She answers questions on all facets of the wedding industry.
“Things to consider if planning a wedding Things to consider when planning a weddingThe Internet is an information resource for brides,” McCoy said. “It’s also a venue where they can get different opinions and ideas. And they can trade ideas with other brides-to-be. The Weddingpages site is an incredible place for brides ask for and receive professional advice. It has opened doors for brides that were not open before, and it’s offers the most current information.” McCoy believes that the Internet is an excellent single resource for brides seeking wedding information, prices, products or services. “The Weddingpages questions are absolutely incredible, and the site is becoming more popular with brides-to-be everywhere. I’m hearing from an increased number of brides through the website all the time,” she said.
Diamond Central on the Weddingpages website is where Fred Cuellar, “The Diamond Guy,” answers questions on diamonds and wedding jewelry. It’s a one-stop, on-line diamond information resource. Cuellar is a nationally known diamond expert and author of the best selling book, How to Buy a Diamond. He is the president of Diamond Cutters International and also serves as the diamond expert for America On-line. “The best thing about Diamond Central is that it offers a venue for anyone in the world to ask questions about diamonds,” Cuellar said. “People can ask about the price of diamonds and inquire what the diamond they are about to buy is worth.” Cuellar actually provides on-line diamond appraisals through the Weddingpages website.
“I can give brides the exact questions they have to ask at their jewelry store,” Cuellar said. “And with the help they get from Diamond Central they can walk in the store and say: ‘I want this shape, I want this carat weight, I want this clarity, I want this color – and I know what it costs and what I should pay.’ The Internet allows brides and grooms to make intelligent buying decisions.”
Werner said that the Weddingpages site is particularly effective for the computer-savvy bride who wants information immediately. “It allows brides-to-be to make choices, view advertising, read articles and ask questions,” she said. “On the Internet she can highlight pages and ads she wants, then print them out.” All planning for the wedding can effectively be done on the computer screen. Brides often use the hard-copy Planner Edition while referencing highlights from the on-line planner. The “wed-site” features month-by-month checklists, calendars and planning tips.
The objective is to reach as many brides as possible in each of the 53 major Weddingpages markets. Werner said that the Internet is used as a marketing tool that enhances, not replaces, the company’s planner or magazines.
“Our planner is too personal and is a treasured keepsake,” she said. “We direct the bride visiting our site back to those who can meet their needs – her local vendors. Many of our advertisers have their own websites directly linked to ours.” Werner said that computer technology was a great benefit to prospective brides.