Meet the wedding experts at the Brides Tree – your admins for the exclusive & fun FB group “The Sunshine Coasts Brides’ Tribe”. Where only brides & grooms planning a wedding in the Sunshine Coast region can join. No businesses at all!
Sally & Jenny
These two first met working in the marketing department at Australia Zoo. Sally was working as Editor of a print magazine when she decided to become a makeup artist. She started working on weddings, and heard the same things from brides all the time… “There are national and international blogs with so much inspiration, but nobody is doing that here…” and, “My favourite bridal magazine only came out once while I was planning my wedding…” After making a point of quizzing all her brides for a while it struck her – BAM!
Sally wanted to create an online magazine that came out quarterly, a blog with new content released every week, and a fully comprehensive directory, so everything is at the bride’s fingertips and it’s all focused on our local wedding industry.
Jenny, had a similar idea for a local wedding directory whilst she was living in Scotland. Realizing when planning her wedding from abroad that there were so many beautiful national and international wedding blogs and directories, but nothing focused solely on the Sunshine Coast wedding industry. They combined their ideas and started working together immediately.
The website was even more popular than they had expected – launching in 2011 they currently have an average of 1700 unique visits to the The Bride’s Tree website every week, a combined total of over 17,000 social media followers, 2,500+ e-newsletter subscribers and over 130 advertisers….with me as one of their biggest fans!
So what do you do at The Brides Tree?
S: I’m the writer monkey of the team. I curate all of our content for our blog. I write every article, upload all the photos, and liaise with all of the businesses and brides, who submit to us. I’m also editor of our online magazine, and Jenny and I take turns organising our styled shoots. I feel very lucky to be in a job of my own making, that is wholly content creation. Creating is my happy place.
J: My job is to makes sure each and every one of our advertisers has an unforgettable and elevated experience with The Bride’s Tree. This is my number one goal.
My eyes light up when it comes to business and connecting couples with the right type of wedding vendor that is best suited to them and their wedding is really important to me. I crazy love meeting with wedding experts almost every week, finding out about how they started their business, what their passion is and why they do what they do. I feel really blessed to get to know these people and we often become great friends.
“There was nothing around like The Bride’s Tree. Looking back, I guess we were the disrupters to the traditional form of advertising platforms available in the industry”
What has been the highlight of your job so far at the bride’s tree?
S: It’s really hard to pinpoint one single highlight! We are so fortunate to have moments of celebration in our work on the daily. It’s the little things, like when a bride emails to tell us she has found her dream suppliers through our website, and I can’t help but tear up when one of our vendors tells us they’ve hit record enquiries or even been able to quit their day job because we helped their business reach the next level. Being in the wedding world is super fun, but it’s helping people that really keeps me going. And putting out our magazine gives me a real buzz each time as that’s a real dream come true for me!
J: Seeing what an impact The Bride’s Tree has to local businesses. Nothing more makes my day than when I receive emails from our advertisers thanking us for the massive impact their advertising has made to their dream business and its growth. My heart explodes with happiness every single time!
A few years ago I was also able to travel around Australia for 6 months with my husband and daughter whilst working on The Bride’s Tree. Having an online business has really opened up so many opportunities that would have not been possible if I’d been working in a corporate office every day.
Any Sunshine Coast wedding trend predictions you see coming or going?
S: I really love weddings at the moment, because I think brides are leaning away from specific trends and going their own way. They’re also really investing in jaw-dropping floral arrangements. Just when I think I’ve seen the pinnacle of floral creation, someone comes up with an installation or ceremony backdrop that floors me.
J: Simplistic weddings that focus on a few key stand out features done very well, and that are important to a couple. These could be floral installations hanging from the ceiling, statement furniture pieces or a piece they’ve had their stylist source for them. I think we’ll see this trend continue and strengthen in the future because brides are realising that DIY wedding styling often costs a lot more money when they’re purchasing lots of bits and pieces and then they end up with a style that’s disconnected and not cohesive.
What is your #1 guaranteed stress-free wedding planning tip?
S: Delegate any on-the-day tasks to trusted people you know you won’t feel you need to micro-manage, and hand over your phone to someone nearby, like your maid of honour, who can filter any important messages to you and deal with the rest themselves.
J: Don’t worry about things you can’t control, like the weather! Plan for everything you can control and the rest will fall into place. Having wedding experts part of your wedding that have a lot of experience in the location you’re getting married in is really important because if anything goes wrong on the day, they’ll be there with a solution immediately, so you can get on with enjoying your day.
Have you seen any substantial changes in wedding planning since you started The Brides Tree?
S: Many more brides are commissioning a wedding planner or on-the-day wedding coordinator. This is absolutely brilliant, because we are not all born event planners any more than we are all dentists, hairdressers or pilots. It is a specialised field, so taking the pressure off yourself and allowing a pro to apply their expertise is a really good move. I think previously brides and grooms thought this was an unnecessary expense, but now they are finally seeing this can actually save them money and definitely lessen their stress.
J: Yes, a lot less DIY styling. I’ll be honest, I’m so happy to no longer see any vintage suitcases or typewriters.
What is something that no one really tells you about when you start to plan a wedding?
S: Once the planning is over, you will feel one of two ways – either relieved to have your life and bank balance back, or sad it’s all over and wondering what you’re going to do with your time now. My advice is to think ahead to after the wedding and how you’re going to spend the first few months or years of your married life. Once the wedding is all said and done, you’ve achieved the goal – you’re married! This is when the fun begins, so plan a trip, start a renovation, make a baby – whatever you like, just keep moving forward together. It’s the beginning of something beautiful after all!
J: How much a wedding really costs and why it costs that much. That’s why you’ll notice in a lot of our real wedding features we list how much the wedding actually cost.
Any advice on how to choose the best wedding suppliers for your wedding day?
S: Really examine the online portfolio of the supplier and figure out what you like about it. For example, if you’re looking at a photographer, really make certain you love their work just the way they do it and hire them based on that. Don’t hire a photographer and then ask them to bend to the style of another photographer’s work. The same goes for florists, makeup artists, stylists – everyone! If you love what they do, then you really want them to go ahead and do what they do best.
J: Engaged couples often trust the list of wedding experts in our vendor directory because they know we only feature people we’d use ourselves. Often we’ve worked with these businesses on styled shoots, so we’ve had first-hand experience seeing them in action. My suggestion for brides would be to go through the list of vendors and view some of their images and pin any you like onto your Pinterest board. Then go back and look at their websites and narrow your list down to the top 3. If you’re able to meet with them great, if not, a Skype chat is a great way to find out if they’re the best fit for you and exactly what you’re looking for. Creative talent is really important, but it’s just as important that you get along and connect with your vendors. This will make sure everything runs smoothly on your wedding day and everyone has a great time.
If you could be invited to any wedding or event in the world, real or make believe – what would it be and why?
S: Prince Eric and Ariel’s wedding. Obviously. Except I’d probably try to nudge Ariel overboard and steal that dreamy prince for myself.
J: Whilst I was living and working in Scotland I also took on a part time job assisting with weddings, most of which were in huge castles on top of rolling green hills. These were the kind of weddings you see in fairy tales!
But, if I had to choose one, it would have to be going back and being invited to my Grandparents’ wedding. They passed away when I was 6, but I still remember how much love and respect they had for each other. I’m sure it would have been simple, elegant and filled with all the people that mattered the most to them.
Please tell us about your “secret FB group” – The Brides’ Tribe.
We wanted to create something different, a safe place for brides to come and interact with other brides who are also planning a wedding on the Sunshine Coast. So, we created the Sunshine Coast Brides’ Tribe group!
“Only brides and grooms planning a wedding in the Sunshine Coast region can join this group. No businesses at all!”
Inside our group couples also have the opportunity to ask us any questions they like, so we can help solve any of their wedding planning struggles. We also share lots of wedding planning tips, videos & insights in this group that we don’t’ share anywhere else. and our tribe members often find out about special offers first before we post elsewhere.
Yes please – I want in!