APW has been an indispensable community to be a part of since launching my wedding photography business 8 years ago. The readers are hip, well-grounded and smart, making for amazing clients that usually book APW vendors across the board. Connecting with other APW vendors is another awesome perk because you know right away they're going to be great.
Introducing The L.O.V.E. Club
Let’s paint a picture for a minute: you are an incredibly talented wedding professional (turn that impostor syndrome off, it’s OK to own it). You’re finally doing the creative work you were born to do. Maybe that’s photographing unique couples who are wildly in love, or coordinating an airtight wedding day timeline, or designing the perfect engagement ring or wedding invitation. Whatever it is, you have it on lock, and it makes your heart sing.
It’s just that… you really, really wish more couples knew about those talents of yours. If only they did, then your business would be booming, rather than a tiny bit struggling.
we get it, being a wedding vendor these days is hard.
There are so many people trying to hustle in a saturated market. How do you compete with someone who’s been in the biz for 10 years and charges $5K and has 50K followers on Instagram plus the budget for Facebook ads when you’re just trying to make sure your gear is up-to-date and your website doesn’t look like crap?
Even if your work is amazing, and your prices are competitive, getting clients to find you is a whole other ball game.
And more often than not, it’s one that you’re playing alone. Because running a small business doesn’t exactly come with built-in coworkers. (And well, business coaches are pricey, y’all.)
But what if they didn’t have to be?
What if you had a professional coaching team and a crew of likeminded folx you could turn to anytime you needed—from crowdsourcing how much to charge, or getting professional advice on which pictures to put in your portfolio, or pro tips on which gear to buy? What if you didn’t have to do this alone and you didn’t have to go into debt with a slew of marketing expenses either?
Because here’s the thing: Potential clients are actually always looking for super-talented vendors just like you who are early in their careers and charging those “just starting out” rates.
But when you’re charging “just starting out” rates, you can’t exactly afford to spend big bucks on marketing. Which means that growth phase can feel like it’s taking for-e-ver.
But thanks to our passionate, loyal readers, APW has a long history of helping wedding vendors scale their businesses from fledgling to booming within one wedding season. And our passion has always been nurturing those businesses to a point where they don’t need us anymore.
Introducing The L.O.V.E. Club
So next month we’re rolling out a brand-new mentorship program (think of it like an incubator for wedding vendors), that combines business coaching with extra exposure to APW readers—AKA the folx who are about to be your new-favorite clients. It’s specifically designed for wedding vendors who are looking to take their fledgling business to the next level—people who are talented, and hungry, and who probably need to be yelled at to raise their rates. And it’s priced at less than half what you would pay for advertising and coaching separately. (Does that sound like you? Then scroll on.)
Affectionately called The L.O.V.E. Club (League of Vendors Extraordinaire), the program will run from AUGUST 1ST TO DECEMBER 31ST for a small group of vendors who are a perfect fit for our readers. The program will covers topics like:
- Defining Your Brand & Marketing
- Converting Leads
- Policies, Pricing, Travel… and When to Cut a Deal
- Building a Network and Your Referral Business
- Diversifying Your Business and Your Income
Full disclosure: This program isn’t for everyone. Not every advertiser on APW went from shooting five weddings in their first year to a full roster the next. That’s why this program is super limited and application-only. We’re looking for a handful of very specific people who we can tell are going to be the super stars of tomorrow (we have a sixth sense about these things.) 😘
Scroll on to learn more and apply!
WHO THE L.O.V.E. CLUB IS FOR
- Up-and-coming wedding vendors who are looking for a boost to get their business off the ground or take it to the next level.
- The kind of talented rising stars who could be the “next big thing” if they could just get the word out.
- Folx who realize it’s worth charging “affordable” rates for a year or so to build their portfolio, reputation, and referral network. For example, the average APW reader spends less than $3,500 on a wedding photographer, but many former APW advertisers have gone on to regularly charge $5,000 or more.
- Business-owners who are initially willing to cover a larger geographic area (serving “Southern California” or the DC-metro area, or even the whole country at a flat rate enables you to reach more potential clients than only traveling within a 50-mile radius) to build their network and business.
- Vendors who “get” the APW reader, and their desire to have a creative wedding that’s reflective of who they are as people and as a couple, and will wholeheartedly support them.
- Folx who live and breathe by the tenets of our Inclusivity Pledge.
WHAT'S INCLUDED WITH THE LOVE CLUB MEMBERSHIP
The L.O.V.E. Club is a five-month program designed to combine all the things your business needs to grow, in one convenient place. We don’t just give you advertising exposure to APW’s readers, we teach you how to optimize your marketing and sales materials and skills, so you can turn that exposure into real life clients. When you’re admitted into The L.O.V.E. Club you’ll receive:
|MASTERCLASSES with the APW team AND GUEST SPEAKERS||Monthly masterclasses with our team of wedding industry experts and guest speakers that cover topics like:
|ONE PRIVATE coaching session||One hour of private coaching to offer portfolio/website/marketing materials review and personalized advice. For example, not sure if you’re selecting your strongest images? Wondering how to structure your contact form? Our goal is to optimize your online presence to make your advertising perform as well as possible.||$150 VALUE|
|Vendor Listing||A standalone page in the APW Vendor Directory with a 30 picture portfolio (plus the option to include video), a profile describing what makes you and your business unique, your travel policy, a client testimonial, customer reviews, your contact info, and links to featured work of yours on the site.
– Appears at the top of search results.
– See an example of a listing here.
|ORGANIC SHOUT-OUTS ON THE SITE AND SOCIAL CHANNELS||We’ll be presenting the L.O.V.E. Club members as our preferred recommended vendors, for the next five months, so expect to get organic exposure in a round-up introducing the members of the inaugural class (you can check out our annual year-end Favorite Weddings Round-Up for an example of the format), and similar shout-outs on social media, in Happy Hour posts, and newsletters.||$450 VALUE|
|ONE INDIVIDUAL Sponsored Post
||Get a super focused post that showcases the magic of your business in front of our 700K readers, or our nearly 200K social media followers. 50% of sponsors say that sponsored posts deliver the greatest return on their advertising dollars.||$695 VALUE|
|ONE Social Boost||Be featured on our social channels with an Instagram feed post, a boosted Facebook post (aka we pay the Facebook overlords to give your post extra love), and a 2-slide IG story. This social boost combo receives an average of 10K eyeballs and 100 clicks to your website, just about doubling the impact of your sponsored post.||$495 VALUE|
|APW Vendor Community||Free membership in the APW Vendor Community, with a separate channel for TLC mastermind members, where you can talk shop and share referrals. Because we know you’d rather be getting word-of-mouth referrals with businesses who share your values, not just your zip code.||FREE|
or $350/month 5-month PAYMENT PLAN
WHY WORK WITH APW
From APW reader to APW wedding vendor…
Way before I worked at APW, even before I was a wedding photographer and an advertiser on this site, I was an engaged person planning a wedding for a lot of people, with not a lot of budget.
I badly wanted to hire the kind of artistic wedding professionals I saw on the pages of my favorite blogs. But one, I was afraid I didn’t have the budget for it. And two, I was planning a wedding in Maine, which at the time was not exactly a mecca for cool wedding vendors.
So I spent hours (like, many, many, many hours) researching high and low to find a wedding photographer and other creative wedding professionals who were hip, forward-thinking—and also maybe just starting out (with the affordable prices to show for it.)
And I ultimately found them, but it was like looking for a needle in a haystack.
So when I started my own creative wedding photography business, I wanted to make sure that my potential clients didn’t have to the depths of the Internet to find me.
Instead, before I even had a website (or like… a client?), I emailed Meg and told her that I wanted to launch my business on APW, because I knew that the audience here was made up of the best possible clients for me and my business. AKA people like me.
So I did just that.
And from that initial advertising boost, I was able to go from having four weddings booked to a full roster of over twenty weddings that year.
And that has always been the magic of APW’s audience, for myself and many other fledgling wedding professionals. Our readers actually care.
Not just about what we write, but about our community, our advertisers, and the wedding industry at large. That’s what allows us to connect you with those rare and wonderful potential clients who are a joy to work with, while helping to build your portfolio, then telling all their friends and family about you, and finally enabling you to get published on APW, and beyond. And that how they’ve helped launch the careers of some truly amazing wedding pros.
Before her work as APW’s Chief Revenue Officer, Maddie Eisenhart cofounded the NYC-based team Hart & Sol Photo in 2010, and it quickly grew into a thriving business. Together with her business partner, Monica, she photographed 20+ weddings per year from Maine to California to Puerto Rico before expanding their empire to a bi-coastal business. Maddie’s work was featured in A Practical Wedding, Style Me Pretty and in print magazines.
APW is a feminist company with a no-bullshit kinda attitude that features all kind of people, relationships, and experiences. I pick up on a certain personality from the writing style and it's a personality I like. If my customers are in tune with that personality then I am in tune with my customers.
I’ve LOVED being a part of the APW community and truly have it to thank for getting my business up and rolling.
For just over a decade, A Practical Wedding has been the go-to resource for progressive weddings. Long before the other big names proclaimed “love is love” we were publishing LGBTQ+ weddings alongside straight CIS weddings. Our pages are full of diverse couples who represent reality. Our real weddings feature tall people, short people, thin people, fat people, queer people, straight people, non-binary people, people of color, trans people, religious people, secular people, and oftentimes a mix of the above. To us, our readers aren’t just potential clients for your business, but human beings we help to have the lowest stress wedding planning process possible. So we see our ultimate goal as being wedding matchmakers, because we only do our jobs well when our couples have good people in their corner, and when our vendors have thriving businesses with kickass couples.
PUTTING YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR VALUES ARE.
APW is run by a small team of real people you’ll interact with, who genuinely want to help your business grow, and our audience feels the same!
We work hard to win our reader’s trust, and that is why all the vendors in our directory must sign our Inclusivity Pledge. In order to advertise with us, you must be committed to treating your clients like people (not walking wallets), celebrating LGBTQ+ and POC couples, and to understanding that weddings look a lot of ways.
READER RESPONSE. AKA ACTUAL CLIENTS THAT YOU WILL LOVE.
Our audience is made up of smart, educated, mindful couples who embrace the mission of our site and understand the value of your business. They are progressive, laidback, fun, and creative. AKA the kind of clients who are tons of fun to work with and help to build a portfolio of killer weddings. We’re consistently told that APW readers are our vendors’ favorite clients.
So where do you want your marketing dollars to go? A publicly traded company or a women-owned small business that’s been committed to intersectional feminism, inclusivity, and progressive values for eleven years who genuinely cares if your business succeeds?