I work closely with my clients on how to make their wedding original and unique and a reflection of who they are. I ask them to bring me pictures and send me websites and links to wedding blogs of things they love and make them say "YAY"! We design their wedding based on things they see in the awesome wedding and design magazines and blogs that we have to use for inspiration. But we never copy something exactly. I attend seminars and conferences all over the world and when the design "gods" and "goddesses" (Todd Fiscus, Sasha Souzaand David Beahm to name a few), that I look up to, share their work I don't say, I want to do that exactly. I say wow, that is gorgeous, how can I make that unique to me and my clients and the city I work in. That is why they are all out there speaking and sharing, to give us inspiration so that we can go back and bring some of that experience to our own business. I always encourage my clients to "make it their own" and twist it to reflect who they are. I want them to walk into their wedding reception and say, YAY, it is exactly what I wanted. (not exactly what we saw in that magazine together). It is my job as a wedding professional to help my clients stamp their wedding with the stamp that says "THIS IS US, this wedding reflects who we are as a couple".
I am writing this blog post mainly for my wedding friends and wedding professionals that read my blog. I have recently found two websites copying (verbatim) my content from my Web site. Words that I wrote myself and have used in advertisements and on my Web site for the eight and a half years I have been in business. This upsets me, disappoints me, but mainly worries me that creativity is suffering in an industry that prides itself on creativity.
I really enjoyed hearing Sylvia Weinstock talk about this at the Engage Conference last year. She said it is always best to use someone or something for inspiration but copying stifles creativity. It makes wedding professionals hard to stand out if it is all a sea of sameness. Many of us do the same thing but the words we choose to describe what we do is sacred and personal to us. I could not agree with Sylvia more that we, as wedding professionals, need to just see others peers as inspiration.
Liene Stevens of Splendid Communications wrote about uniqueness on her blog, Think Splendid back in August and I could not agree more with her!
So here is what I say to wedding professionals that can't write their own content well enough for their Web site that they have to copy someone else's content. Take a writing class, write in your journal, gosh, hire someone to help you write about your business who knows you if you are not good at writing. But be YOU not someone else! And if you are looking at my site and thinking about copying and pasting, pick up the phone, I can help you or help you find the right people to help you. You have to be you first before you can help a couple getting married in making their wedding "about them."
Here are the people you can hire that I trust and are leaders in our industry.
The Business of Being Creative
By the way, there is a great little website called Copyscape if you are interested in protecting your content on your website.
Thanks all, thanks for reading and back to the important task at hand which is planning my clients Quintessential Chicago weddings.