Way before I worked at APW, I was an engaged person planning a wedding with big ideas and a $10K budget. In New York. I badly wanted to hire the kind of super-cool vendors I saw on the pages of my favorite blogs, but actually affording people like that seemed like a pipe dream.
So I spent months (seriously, it became a 10-hour-a-week side gig) researching high and low to find creative wedding professionals who met my criteria: super-cool, forward-thinking, but affordable. Most of the vendors I found were not the usual suspects in the obvious places—they were often just starting out, some of them had terrible websites, or no profiles in popular vendor directories, some came purely through word of mouth in the comment section here on APW. I rolled a lot of dice emailing “just to see”—if I could afford them, if they were decent humans I wanted to work closely with, if the rest of their work and their referrals backed up the three images they had on the internet.
There were some gambles, but in the end they all paid off. I pulled off that super-cool wedding—the kind that inspired friends to do their own weddings differently and had friends of friends who saw it on Facebook approach me at other weddings like I was a celebrity, and it still only cost, well, $12K.
But better than that was the number of vendors who ended up thanking me because the trust I placed in them resulted in their businesses jumping up another level. Because if you’re gonna spend thousands of dollars on a wedding, it feels really good to have that actually mean something to the people you are paying it to.
The L.O.V.E. Club Class of 2019
And that has always been the magic of APW’s audience, for us engaged persons and for fledgling wedding professionals. APW readers like you actually care. Not just about all the wedding planning advice, but about our community, our advertisers, and supporting the kind of vendors who make the wedding industry at large a better place. And that’s allowed APW to help launch the careers of the kind of super-cool wedding pros you see in the sidebar to your right, some of whom have been serving this community for a decade.
But because not everyone can always afford those seasoned veterans, this year we launched a new venture to connect you guys with more of those rare and wonderful rising-star vendors who made my $12K dream wedding a reality. The kind of folx who have a ton of talent packed into their brains (but quite possibly terrible websites), who are still building their businesses and not yet charging budget-busting sums of money.
Affectionately called THE L.O.V.E. CLUB (League of Vendors Extraordinaire), think of it like an incubator for wedding vendors. Vendors who are gifted, and hungry, and who probably need to be yelled at to raise their rates (but not until a bunch of y’all get to work with them 😉). We are doing the heavy lifting of finding and vetting these future rock-stars so you don’t have to, and you can just hire them for your 2020 weddings.
As one APW reader said to a 2019 L.O.V.E. Club member: “I had been agonizing over finding a photographer within our budget and finding your profile on APW felt like kismet!”
So if you, like me, were one of the lucky ones who worked with vendors who deserve to be the #NextBigThing, send them our—and your fellow readers’—way. We’ll be giving them marketing and business coaching, and sharing their work here in early 2020 to make everyone’s vendor hunt a little easier.
To make sure we’re not overloading you with options and The L.O.V.E. Club members get personalized attention, membership is limited and application-only. We’re looking for a handful of very specific people who we can tell are going to be the superstars of tomorrow—as you can see from above, we have a sixth sense about these things. So if you think you know someone who would be an awesome fit, tell them to go apply now.
Enrollment closes Friday January 31st. 😘