APW Vendor Directory: Search, Apply, {Love}

Yesterday, we discussed the APW Sanity Pledge, the key part of our sparkling new Vendor Directory. So I thought today was the perfect time to discuss the APW Vendor Directory itself and the way it has grown. In just over a month since the launch, we already have almost 100 vendors who have pledged to adhere to the APW values. 2012 couples: no more WIC madness for you!

APW Vendor DirectoryThus far, readers are loving the directory. My favorite comments include, “I kind of want to cuddle this,” “A Practical Wedding: Putting the industry in check before ‘putting the industry in check’ was cool,” and “This is brilliant. You are going to save people a lot of sleepless nights with this.

So vendors, if you’ve been on the fence, thinking you’d really like to apply to the directory, go for it! You can just go right ahead an apply, or email advertising at apracticalwedding dot com for more information. Now is the perfect time to apply, since come January, everyone is going to be shopping for vendors like mad, and APW-ers like shopping APW vendors (amiright?)

The directory is perfect for all kinds of wedding related small business, there are some specific businesses that I think really should apply to the directory (as opposed to our front page advertising program, which is a whole different intense super awesome ball game—meet me at the end of the post if you want to talk about that). Team Practical, please counter sign this list:

  • Caterers
  • Florists
  • Musicians
  • Officiants
  • Marriage Counselors
  • Dress Makers
  • Stationers
  • Photographers in smaller markets (Midwest, Australia, Canada, I’m looking at you)

But even better, vendors are thrilled with the directory. Let’s see what they have to say:

“As a small business owner, spending money on advertising is a scary thing. There are books and classes and websites dedicated to how to get a good return on your investment. Websites give you advertising kits full of site metrics regarding demographics and pageviews…  It’s overwhelming.  It’s scary. And it kept me from promoting my business via advertising for a long time.  I’d been following APW and was really on board with the values, and I was fortunate enough to work with APW sponsors Hart & Sol on an awesome wedding this past summer. We briefly chatted about their experience with APW. Within minutes, I knew. It clicked – I didn’t need to study stats or calculate ROI – I just, for lack of better word, needed to be practical about advertising. I knew that I was looking to reach potential clients who are real and drama free—people that I genuinely like. What better place to reach my dream clients than the Vendor Directory?  So, I joined, and guess what? It’s already paid off! Within the first few hours of going live, I was having a little dance party at my desk—I had several inquiries! I’ve already booked one lovely couple, and I have scheduled consultations with a few others. I’m so excited to work with such wonderful couples—to do my part in helping people who are in love get married and celebrate the heck out of it!  Plus, as a planner, the Directory has been really handy for me. It’s nice to be able to point clients to it and tell them, “These people are your people. These are extraordinary photographers/florists/musicians/etc. who also happen to be sane and reliable and aren’t going to try to sell something crazy just because you dare to utter the word wedding.” So yay for being practical!” La Vie En Rose Events, New York City wedding planners

“Within a week of being on the APW directory I was in touch with two brides. Not only were the couples cool and fun, but they’ve been pushing ME to learn more about my job. The couple I’m working with right now will be using a hand fasting ceremony as their declaration of intent, and I get to learn all about it in a really practical way. How cool to add that to my repertoire!” Cheerleader For Love, New York City officiant

“We very much love the APW vendor directory. Every week we’re getting more and more visits to our website from clients that found us through the vendor directory. They’ve read our sponsored posts, but it was our directory listing and that it really helped them decide to make that initial contact. We’re listed in a number of wedding vendor directories and the APW directory is one of the most effective for attractive actual clients that eventually hire us.” Leah And Mark, APW Sponsors, Photographers all over the US (free travel for APWers!)

“People who visit my site from APW really look at my site. APW readers look through several more pages and stay a lot longer than people who come to my website from other searches. For the most part, APW readers click on my photography portfolio, my blog, and my About section before going straight to my Pricing page. And that’s a really good feeling—that potential clients don’t just want the best deal, they want to get to know me and really know my work before deciding how that factors into the value. Just based on that, I know that APW readers are my kind of people and I’m looking forward to getting to know more of them.” Jessica Schilling Photography, Los Angeles Photographer

So thank you Team Practical for being your usual awesome selves, and thank you to every single vendor that took the plunge to be in our Vendor Directory while it was still brand new. Now, let’s fill it up with more of the vendors you guys need. Apply! Email us! Send this to vendors you love! Let’s do this thing!

{And, as a postscript: We have a few slots open in our usually-sold-out front page advertising program. Intro packages start at $550, and we have three of them left at 2011 rates. So if you want access to all the extra perks of sponsorship: sponsored posts, the vendor forum, a free directory listing, access to the APW staff for business advice and encouragement, and a front page ad button, drop us a line ASAP.}

Staff Picks

[Read comment policy before commenting]

  • hahaha. Um. Well. Apparently it’s amazing how the APW vendor directory gets us ‘Attractive’ clients…

    NICE. Yay me and typing fast/half awake/drunk!

    • Ha! Did you mean attractING?

      • Yes. That too! ;-)

        It’s actually the beginning of a sentence smashed in with another thought, making a nice mess. I hope they don’t change it! ha.

        • meg

          Whatever Leah & Mark. We all know you advertise here because the readers are hot.

  • Hairstylists, and makeup artists?

    Wedding stylists / magic makers? (My dream job!)

    I was going to say jewelers but that makes more sense to be an ad.

    • meg

      That’s why I didn’t put jewelers on the list. It’s MY dream for you to be a wedding magic maker. But that would have to be your official title.

    • Definitely hair stylists/make-up artists! I had a hell of a time finding one, and to be honest, I’d rather book with an APW vendor than a non-APW vendor.

  • Rycrafty

    I’m still in the process of starting my business (why can’t I decide on a name?!) but apw people are the exact people I want to work with. I want to be a DOC and crafty helper.

  • Ah, it’s still my goal to be on the APW directory! A little busy with the last two weddings of the season but I will apply soon :-)

    • meg

      I know, right, WHAT? I’ve been waiting.

  • I love the Vendor Directory! It’s made me feel affirmed in my desire (and ability) to build my business around the couples I really want to work with. I remember last Winter I was talking to my husband before I’d photographed any weddings and describing who I wanted my clients to be and I felt a little crazy. I mean I was still completely spending more money than I was making but now I don’t think I was crazy. Thank you, APW, for allowing me to work with my ideal theoretical clients in real person form! Every single time I get an APW inquiry I am soo soo excited and not just because it’s an inquiry but specifically because it’s an inquiry from a couple who are no doubt totally awesome.

    Thank you, thank you, Meg (and Emily)!

  • I speak for all three members of String Theory when I say that we ALSO love the vendor directory! We have already had two brides contact us about playing their weddings next spring, and they are exactly the type of people we want to be working with. We will definitely be renewing our membership in the directory when the time comes, and I hope to see more musicians on the directory as well! :)

    • meg

      Yay you guys! Tri-state people, String Theory is awesome and talented and also just laid back and NICE (and affordable). Book them, duh.

      Other musicians: snap to it! We totally need you!

  • “Photographers in smaller markets (Midwest, Australia, Canada, I’m looking at you)”

    Yes yes yes yes yes. Please more Canadian photographers! Because I can’t imagine that there are no amazing photographers with APW-style values in Toronto but I’m having a heck of a time finding one. :(

    • meg

      DUDE! Hibou Photo shoots in Toronto, and she is *awesome.* You need to email her now-now-now.

      • Thank you!!!!! I will have to get on that!

      • Yeah!


    Ok Meg, your comments about lady-ballin’ up yesterday, and the comments here: “more musicians” and “more Canada”…. I think it’s time for this Canadian musician to just lady-ball right the f*ck up.

    • meg

      Lady-ball right the f*ck up. Indeed.

      That goes for everyone else stalling too. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

      • “Lady-ball right the f*ck up” makes me so happy.

  • Kate

    Dress makers! PLEASE! I’m in Boston/Upstate NY and I want you to make my dress! I just found out Anthropologie is owned by a Rick Santorum supporter and there went my last ditch choice : (

    • Jamie

      YES! Finding my dress was an absolute nightmare, including working with a vendor who is very popular on many non-traditional wedding sites. I would have loved an APW approved dress maker/seller since all of the APW vendors we actually worked with were phenomenal.

      And APW approved DJs. We went with a friend-of-a-friend DJ, but looking for one to hire was tough.

    • meg

      YEAH IT IS. God. I really do try to forget that, but the guy who owns it is such a *problem.*

  • Brenda F

    Speaking of photographers are APWers looking around Alberta/BC for someone? Our dear friend took our wedding photos, we loved them and she’s finishing off her last year of school now. I’d love to encourage her to sign up but I’m not sure if there are many people looking in the area.

    • meg

      I think with Vendor Directory pricing, that would be a great slot for her, particularly if she’s open to somewhat local travel. We don’t have enough readers there for her to do front page advertising, but that’s exactly why we introduced the directory :)

  • As once a bride who constantly visited this site, I know this is the right place to put my business. I haven’t applied yet, but almost everyday I’m thinking “I need to book APW couples. I need to apply for the vendor directory NOW.”

    Patience is a virtue, right? I’m counting down the days until I can invest. In the meantime, I’ll just keep waiting to join in with the cool kids, since this is where they’re all at. Obviously.

  • More everything from Canada pleeeeease. :)

  • Ashley

    Can I just say how much I’m loving all the Canada talk in the comments! I’m not planning a wedding, but I will be some time in the medium distant future (I’m pre-engaged, can you tell???) and I will most definitely be looking for APW approved vendors in the Ottawa area once I am!

  • Hope

    Can I squeal for a moment that mine was the “awesome wedding this past summer” where La Vie En Rose Events met Hart + Sol.
    La Vie En Rose was a true wedding elf: hanging bunting on construction signs, keeping me calm while our huppah collapsed before the ceremony and still has our guest book as we’ve been too lazy to pick it up from her.
    I loved that I didn’t have to ask my out-of-country family or my mother-in-law with two broken legs to do any last minute wedding jobs!

    • Aww, thanks. :) I hope your MIL is doing better! Your wedding was a total blast & I’d hang bunting for you guys any day! xoxo!

  • Rizubunny

    Team Practical – please help me make a decision! Here’s the thing. My wife and I just got married in September (yay!) and were planning to slowly, over the next year, transition out of our jobs and do things we loved – for me, proof reading and editing. Fate intervened, however, and the day after we got back from our honeymoon I was told that I was being laid off and so we decided she would quit too and we would accelerate the process of building our dream life. We have savings for a couple of months, etc., and we’re excited (despite the slight edge of terror). I’m building my website and trying to network and all that stuff. Part of that plan was to buy an ad on APW, BUT…

    Now that I’m unemployed, should I spend the extra $ to buy the sponsor ad, and jump in and hope that it works, or should I just do the vendor directory, ’cause it’s a little bit cheaper and doesn’t feel so risky? I know it’s probably ridiculous that I can’t make the decision, but I can’t. Please help me, smart ladies!

    • There are too many factors for most of us to help you make that decision (what, exactly your service is, what your primary market is etc). I’ll bet though if you talk to Meg or Emily they can help you figure out what works and what you’d be comfortable with!

  • Pingback: Civil Ceremonies in an Approved Venue | Sussex Wedding Planner()