FOODIE SPOTLIGHT: SEVEN STEAKHOUSE SUSHI + ROOFTOP

Although I primarily created Vow to be Social to be focused on the wedding and event industry, I still have other passions. One of those happens to be really good food and cocktails. This shoot was especially fun because I had the opportunity to work with Minneapolis influencers Falen Bonsett of KDWB and Kim Ly Currie.

Seven is equal parts good food and entertainment. They throw plenty of good parties in the trendy nightclub and rooftop lounge, and their multi-level restaurant is separated by steakhouse and sushi restaurant. I highly recommend Seven as a social celebration destination.

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INDUSTRY SNEAK PEEK: FOREVER BRIDE MONTHLY MINGLE

For those who haven’t already discovered Forever Bride, I encourage you to learn more about how they help wedding industry professionals. Forever Bride has quickly become one of the top online resources for local planning and inspiration.

As a member of Forever Bride, one of the many benefits is complimentary admission to industry networking events: Monthly Mingles. Each month features a healthy amount of socializing, paired with an educational topic targeted specifically at wedding industry professionals.

February’s Monthly Mingle was hosted at Brick x Mortar, a boutique members-only social club and shared work space in Downtown Minneapolis. The topic was “How to be the Most Memorable Person in the Room”, presented by Executive Presence Engineer and Professional Speaker, Polly Meyer.

The social hour included delicious light bites from Mintahoe Catering & Events. There was a lot of great conversation amongst the attendees, making this seem like a beneficial community to be a part of if you are a wedding industry professional.

What wedding industry networking groups do you participate in? I am always looking for new conferences, workshops, networking groups, etc. I encourage you to leave your suggestions in a comment below!

INDUSTRY SNEAK PEEK: BAVARIA DOWNS OPEN HOUSE

One of the many things I love about the wedding industry is that there are constantly new venues and vendors to meet and learn about! Bavaria Downs is a new wedding and event venue in Chaska, MN that combines influences of elegance, rustic, and European fantasy.

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The evening began with a warm welcome and butler passed champagne. I wandered into the foyer and admired the unique woodworking finishes - I felt like I was in a cottage wonderland! I saw so many friendly faces, and was impressed by the lavish Meat, Cheese & Garden Table with a lush display of cured meats, artisan cheeses, nuts, olives, whole fruits and veggies and gourmet breads. I couldn’t help but wander over to the Raclette Station with freshly shaved Prosciutto. I had only seen Raclette on social media videos, and loved the concept of incorporating it into the event menu!

I mingled with some friendors in the porch area, while enjoying butler passed hors d’oeuvres like Fried Truffle Risotto with Mushroom, Roasted Garlic and Chevre Mousse, Herb-Stuffed Dates with Smoked Almond Manchego, Prosciutto and Pomegranate Molasses, and Miniature Croque Madames with tiny Quail Eggs. The attention to detail was incredible!

I then stepped outside to the patio, with a long pathway that led you to the outdoor ceremony site, which featured unique stone benches and a wrought iron pergola with a gorgeous crystal chandelier. The backdrop views were fantastic, and I could envision wedding ceremonies with lush florals and greenery, or perhaps a ceremony at sunset with twinkle lights and candles.

The reception space was quite large, but the unique tiled ceilings and large chandeliers made it still feel intimate and cozy. I enjoyed a glass of wine and more passed bites, my favorite being the Pickled Beet with Goat Cheese and Pistachio. But that was nothing compared to the Fresh Pasta station, where you could enjoy your choice of Forest Mushroom, Smoked Bacon and Kale in a Truffle Cream Sauce, or a Fresno Chili Butter Sauce - both of which were delicious.

Most people know that I have quite the sweet tooth, so you know I was mesmerized by the mini dessert table! Sprinkled Mini Doughnuts, Green Tea Financiers, Homemade Pop Tars with Raspberry Jalapeño Jam, and more yummy treats. I wish I was hungry enough to try them all!

The wedding party suites were nothing short of impressive. The Groom’s Room had tones of wood, stone and leather giving a luxurious, masculine vibe. The Bridal Suite was expansive, with lots of oversized windows, plush furniture, and vanities for even the largest bridal party.

Overall, I was enchanted by Bavaria Downs, and I hope that my wedding planning clients will want to get married there! So many design and decor ideas for this space, I can’t wait to see some of their upcoming real weddings.

What do you think of this Twin Cities wedding venue?

SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE WEDDING INDUSTRY

Although I still consider myself an old-fashioned girl who loves a good wedding magazine, the age of Pinterest and Instagram has me addicted to finding wedding inspiration all day every day (yes, even during the wee hours when Netflix just isn't cutting it)! And I know I'm not the only one swooning over color palettes and styled shoots - I hear so many of my brides tell me "I saw this centerpiece idea on Pinterest that I just love" or "Did you see that amazing installation at my venue on Instagram!?" These days, couples are mainly discovering wedding trends (and vendors) via social media channels.

Today I thought I would share a few thoughts on how social media has had an impact on the wedding industry, and how that relates to you and your wedding business!

 

Digital Inspiration Galore

If you aren't familiar with Pinterest yet, now is the time (actually...like 3 years ago was the time)! Pinterest offers users wedding inspiration via images that are pulled from various websites with relevant content (hint: this could be YOUR website). Pinners can save the images they like to different boards such as wedding flowers, cakes, dresses etc. I personally love when my clients invite me to their wedding inspiration boards so I can see their vision and help come up with ideas that fit their style. For wedding professionals, it's crucial to be pinning images that link back to your website or blog, that way if a bride clicks on your pin, it will take her to your website (and possibly make her want to learn more about you and your wedding business)!

 

#Trending: Wedding Hashtags

What is a hashtag, you ask? It's a clickable search link that allows people to discover specific images with the same tag, and it's arguably one of social media's biggest trends. Not only can couples come up with creative hashtags for their wedding (think clever puns of their last names, etc.), but vendors can definitely utilize this too! For example, if you are a talented wedding planner in the Minneapolis area, you may want to include the hashtag #mplsweddingplanner in your captions so that a local bride is able to see your images if she's searching for Instagram profiles of wedding planners in her area.

 

Reviews can be Make or Break

Social media has allowed so many wedding professionals to share and showcase their work with their peers and potential clients. If vendors are posting their wedding images on social media, it is expected that they tag and credit all participating vendors that helped make that special day come to life. If couples had a good experience with a particular vendor, it is encouraged that they share their testimonial with a review on Facebook, Google, The Knot, etc. So, if a bride saw an amazing image on Instagram, she might take note of what vendors were involved. Then, she may look them up on The Knot to read their reviews to see what others' experiences were. From there, she may go to your website and inquire about your services!

 

There are so many ways that social media has changed the wedding industry, and it's now more important than ever to create and maintain a strong digital representation of your brand. I know there are only so many hours in a day, and perhaps the thought of writing one more mediocre blog post has you ready to rip your hair out. Vow to be Social can assist you with creating, scheduling and posting digital content on your blog and social media accounts. Contact me for more information on how Vow to be Social can take social media off of your to-do list!