Glancing over the lush green field to see the sunset was amazingly beautiful. That was my very first impression of Gore Place, an ornate Federalist style mansion plunked down on 4o rolling acres. Really. I was stunned that such a fantasy wedding site was literally right off Route 20 in Waltham. I knew the first Bridal Tweet Meet up was off to a roaring good start!
You probably guessed that I'm the curious type. My favorite thing is to meet someone new and learn about them. I've really enjoyed being part of the Bridal Tweet community. Christine Dyer, the mastermind behind BT, has done something pretty neat by allowing brides and vendors to interact freely on her site. I love all the blogs especially Christine's weekly post on how to 'Supercharge your Wedding Business'. It's great to have a safe place to ask questions, share my knowledge of communication and learn about the wedding experience. And, I'm not the only one since the community has grown to over 4000 members since its launch this April. Impressive, huh? Best of all? It's free to join. Sweet!
I made so many good friends online I wanted to see them 'IRL'- in real life! So, I planned the very first Massachusetts MeetUP. My goal was to gather liked-minded wedding folks to get to know each other, share our resources and help grow our businesses. Kinda like a mastermind group. I don't know about you, but sometimes I feel a bit isolated as a Bridal Coach. I like the idea of thinking about how to grow someone else's business for a change, and honestly, it generally leads to good things for me, too. When you're helping someone else be happy, you can't help but get a little joy on you, too.
Have you ever been to a networking meeting where they asked your birthday instead of your business name? Yeah, your birthday. Our friend, Ra-mu, is a January baby along with Patricia, who proudly shared her birth year, too. She's followed by Elena in April. Did you know that in Russia, where she was born, April is the happiest month because it's the first time you can go without a coat? We know that feeling, huh. Victoria is our May friend, who shared that she's made amazing connections using Twitter. (It's not a waste of time. You just need a strategy)
Only one summer babies in our group, Janine, She's an aspiring photographer who loves to make memories. Plenty of heat for the winter, what will all the Scorpios and Sags. Catie, the event manager of Gore Place and our gracious hostess, kicks off the fall in September. Then, Carol, Edna , Julie and I bring a lot of warmth and laughter to the winter chill of November and December.
Why didn't I just list their businesses? That's what they do. It's not who they are. They are these incredibly creative people who choose to make connection in the world, to bring people together with their gifts. There's the value; the businesses are the vehicles.
Just so you don't think all we did was hold hands and sing kumbayah, we did have a rich business discussion. We talked about how to make the best use of Bridal Tweet and compared our experiences on Wedding Wire. Someone spontaneously discovered a new brand for her business, which really suits her to a T. We critiqued a few 'elevator pitches' and shared our favorite business books and websites. (Are you reading Duct Tape Marketing for the free sales letters and marketing advice?)
Best of all, at least for me, was the Give to Get portion of the evening, where we talked about what we wanted the group to give us. No, not business, although that's likely to be a byproduct once we get to know each other better. What we really need to get to the next level. Someone asked for patience. Another asked for vision. I asked for encouragement. Trying to transform the wedding world might take a while.
If you're in Massachusetts, you're welcome to join in the next meeting. We're throwing around ideas for when and what now. Just join Bridal Tweet and the Massachusetts Brides and Vendors group to stay in the loop.
'Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.' Margaret Mead
See photos in the Massachusetts Brides and Vendor group courtesy of Julie of All Occasions by J & B