Photo by Janelle Elise Photography
We all know wedding vows between a bride and groom are pledges of intent and commitment to one another, but now one Minneapolis-based resource is holding those same standards to wedding vendors. Earlier this month, the online resource for planning and inspiration, ForeverBride.com, launched the Forever Bride Association, a soon-to-be national network of wedding businesses that “vow” to uphold ethical guidelines to aid couples in designing their dream day in white. Mpls.St.Paul Weddings spoke with the ForeverBride.com vice president Ashley Hawks about her new venture and why she thinks a resource like FBA is necessary.
Why did you launch the Forever Bride Association?
Growing up, I saw firsthand the importance of knowing and supporting fellow businesses. I saw how much customers valued my opinion and trusted my referrals. I knew I had to know this industry—inside and out—if I were to give them the best recommendations. The FBA aims to create a sense of community within the wedding industry, where there is a certain level of respect and support among local businesses. It also gives these vendors a chance to get to know one another, both personally and professionally.
It sounds like the FBA has high standards. How does a vendor qualify to be a part of it?
We like to meet the vendor in person and learn as much about them as possible. We like to learn about why they love what they do, what makes them unique, and how we can best promote them. There is a small cost to be a part of the FBA to cover advertising and marketing costs.
It’s clear why this “stamp of approval” is beneficial to vendors, but why do you think a resource like this is helpful for brides and grooms?
myTalk 107.1 called us “The Better Business Bureau of Weddings.” There is strong value tied to a group of people who are willing to say exactly what is important to them and how they plan to treat their customers. The FBA logo is a symbol of professionalism and tells potential customers what kind of business they are. Brides using our website have a sense of security knowing we will stand behind these businesses, and they vow to give them the best service.
Because there is such a need for communities and programs like this, we will be opening a Chicago market this year, and soon be working with businesses across the U.S.
Do you have any advice or words of wisdom for brides?
Using wedding planning websites like ForeverBride.com is one of the best ways to research and find the vendors that are perfect for you. Start your planning and research now. And check out our blog for daily insight and planning tips to make the best of your wedding planning experience.
Ethical Guidelines Set Forth by the Forever Bride Association
As a Forever Bride Association member:
- I vow to provide professional and outstanding service to clients at all times.
- I vow to promote my business in ethical ways.
- I vow to continually strive to grow and improve my skills and products.
- I vow to be fully licensed and insured, when applicable. I vow to use proper legal agreements for customers.
- I vow to treat other wedding professionals with respect.
- I vow to encourage and support new vendors.
- I vow to be active in the VIB [Very Important Bride] program, support the VIB community, and participate in networking events.