Tell us a little about yourselves and Signature Bride! How did it start?
What were your intentions when you began? What are your plans for SB moving forward?
SIGNATURE BRIDE is the only bridal lifestyle brand for today’s Black couple planning to wed. Our brand is dedicated to reflecting Black women and men and their lives as they come together as husband and wife. We are underway with an overhaul of our digital platform – new website design, new formats.
Describe your typical bride:
The SIGNATURE BRIDE is sexy, playful, daring and insightful. She is the trendsetter, determining which brands, products and services will succeed in a crowded marketplace.
Where do you find inspiration for weddings? We are a multimedia company and provide content on various platforms – digital, print, social media.
What is your favorite trend happening right now?
At SIGNATURE BRIDE we believe in putting your own “signature” on the BIG Day. No one says there are hard or fast rules you need to live by. For 2017, we love the soft pastel palettes. We also love how floral has become art at the church and reception.
Who are your favorite, and most used vendors?
We don’t have favorite or “used vendors.” We try to work with everyone that can bring to our audience a top-notch quality product and/or service. Our goal is to inspire our readers by showcasing various vendors — from fashion designers to event planners and everything in between — to spark the imagination so that they put their own SIGNATURE on their Big Day.
What do you look for in a florist when planning a wedding?
Be sure to hire a professional who has a good reputation and is established. They should be able to design samples of what you envision and show you a portfolio of previous work — from corsages to centerpiece work. Be sure they are familiar with the venue. If not, you want to make sure the florist/team is on site the day of the wedding. Do they provide a freshness guarantee? Ask how the florist can ensure you get the flowers you want. Stress you want the florist and team at the venue the day of the wedding and be sure to get all fees — delivery, setup, etc.
What advice would you give to brides when choosing their venue?
This goes hand-in-hand with the vision you have for the Big Day. Some couples opt to do the ceremony at church and the party elsewhere. Consider everything — hotels, museums, gardens, historical sites, country clubs, restaurants, even a yacht. Shop around, ask friends.
How important is hiring a wedding planner? We recommend using a professional wedding planner if at all possible. In today’s busy world, it takes a village to plan and prepare for an important occasion like your wedding. A professional wedding planner can help in identifying vendors and venues. They will dot the “I’s” and cross the “T’s” and make sure everything is done correctly.
What do you look for in wedding stationery?
The invitation should reflect you as a couple and the type of wedding you are having. If working with a professional wedding planner, he/she will most likely have catalogues to look through. There are no rules here. Go with what you like. Be sure to proofread — and have others proof, too — before approving.
What are some of your favorite memories from working clients?
Our clients are our readers and of course, our advertisers. Our favorite memories are when our readers have invited us into their wedding — from the planning to the Big Day — through their letters, emails, tweets and phone calls. We feel we’ve attended each and every wedding!
What puts a vendor above the bar?
When vendors listen to the client and are on board with the vision. They work with the client, respect budgets and vision. They offer alternatives and suggestions when necessary, and are all in in the planning. Finally, they deliver what the couple is expecting and go above and beyond.
What has been your most successful form of marketing?
Word of mouth.
What wedding season is your favorite and why?
Every day is wedding season at SIGNATURE BRIDE!
How do you choose a DJ? Are there specific questions brides should make sure they ask before booking their DJ/band?
The sounds of celebration are just as important as all the other elements of the wedding. Be sure to check with the venue to see if there are any restrictions in this category. Talk to prospective vendors about the type of music you want played and when. Ask how often they take breaks. Bring a “working” playlist to the meeting. Ask for references and be sure to have the vendors audition live — drop in at the next event they are playing and watch them perform. Pay attention to how they interact with the guests, the reaction of the guests, etc. And like every other aspect of vendor planning, get everything in writing!
What is your best bit of advice you would give to vendors?
Listen to your clients and prospective clients. Offer suggestions and advice. Be transparent. If you can’t deliver on their vision, say so. Better yet, recommend a vendor you know can. Be upfront on costs, delivery, etc. Be organized and follow through on what you promise. Get everything in writing.
And to newly-engaged brides?
This is the time for self-expression. We suggest you explore all the options. The only rule SIGNATURE BRIDE has is that your wedding day is your day — put your own signature on it . Take some time to envision what your day looks like — and write it down! No matter what type of wedding you have, the décor sets the tone and creates the ambience. We suggest interviewing several vendors from each category you are using — go to meetings with questions and discuss your vision. Don’t be afraid to ask for references. If you are interested in a band or DJ, go see him/her at an event he/she is performing at. Stop in at an event the florist or wedding planner you are interested in working with is doing. Be sure to go to tastings with the venue and bakery. Once you decide on your vendors, detail it in a signed contract.