If you told me a year ago that I would need to think about how to ‘brand’ my wedding I would probably thought you were crazy. First, it would have seemed less than romantic to talk about a wedding in marketing terms and two, it would have struck me as really complicated. But our trusted wedding consultant, Kate, put it best when she said, I am paraphrasing here, ”you will enjoy your day the most if everyone around you is enjoying themselves, and people enjoy themselves the best when things are cohesive and organized”
So from the STDs, (I giggle a little every time I write that, since outside the wedding blog world the acronym means, well…you know!) to the invitations, to the decorations,the food etc, it should all have the same brand.
As you may remember our STDs were a little off the wall, which gave people the perfect idea about what our wedding day would be like. But, as Kate pointed out, our wedding invitation needs to be a bit more formal to let people know that it will still be a classy affair. And then this lead into a longer conversation about what we want our day to feel like. Which, I thought we had a good handle on, but after talking about it for a little bit it was clear we did not.
Let’s just say that when we left the meeting with Kate we had planned an almost totally Broadway themed wedding, which, while I like Broadway, and Dave loves it…we would not want that to be what is reflected at our day. But I think we went down that path because we did not know what the hell we wanted. Which, in the end was a good thing, because it forced us to really think about what we want our day to look like. So we have settled on the following: Modern and Clean. And our inspiration is our favorite restaurant in Buffalo: Tempo.
Our venue is an old hotel, so we think the modern bit will work great with the old world style of the hotel. What we have to figure out is how to do that without offending the hotel’s beauty, but that is what Kate is for!
So, now onto branding. My friend Diane who designed our STDs inserted a monogram (pictured below). This was not something we had asked for, but we love it and will carry it, in one way or another, throughout the wedding. We will probably do some take away favors that people will put in clear plastic bags that will have a monogram on it. Our invitations will also have circles on them that will hint at the monogram. What I also like about this is that it has an old world feel, which will nice introduction to the style of our venue.
Finding the invitation was not easy, however. At the suggestion of Kate we looked at Wedding Paper Divas (weddingpaperdivas.com). We found a lot that we loved, but most were a bit out of our budget. So we decided to check out Party City to see what they had. There was soooo much to look at but no one to help us. So, after about a half hour and looking at too many invitations with bows, and only liking a few, we headed out discourgaged. So we went back to Wedding Paper Divas for one more look through, and then we found it, it was perfect, even if a bit out of budget. And then we found a 20% off coupon and free shipping, so we only went over by $80 (!), which is fine by us because we love the invitation. Then two days later, we get this in the mail:
So we definitely know we made the right choice!! There language is not gender neutral, but they have a lot of fun quirky stuff, so I plan to e-mail them, let them know how much we liked thier product and urge them to be a bit more LGBT friendly.
Fundamentally, branding is not about just sticking to one thing that presents itself in various locations throughout the wedding, it is about deciding, what our we, as a couple, about and how can we reflect and imbue that in each part of the wedding day? Answering those questions will help you then figure out the many parts of the wedding day. But know that it is not an easy process, particularly if you are not given to thinking about these things often.
We are doing a site visit this week with Kate, and a dessert tasting, so I am excited to eat some yummy stuff and start narrowing down the design of the venue….wish us luck!!
A sample of our invites