This week we celebrate Small Business Week across the US! As small business owners ourselves, and as a company that works with and supports an incredible team of local vendors, we thought now is a great time to introduce ourselves to our new readers! Recently named 2017 Best Blog & Best Website by Madison Magazine, lovemadisonweddings.com serves to inspire and inform local couples, and connect them with local wedding pros!
We usually post “Meet the Pros” articles each week, so this week we’re detouring just a bit to share this “Meet the Owners” article with you!
What is Love, Madison Weddings?
We are a local wedding planning website, catering to Madison-area brides and grooms to provide useful, relevant wedding planning information. Our site features three main components:
- VENDOR & VENUE LISTINGS: Our comprehensive vendor and venue listings include ALL local pros! We’re the only search bar you need!
- REAL WEDDINGS: In our Real Weddings section we honor the many ways to plan a Madison-area wedding. Local couples can see what others have done, and go straight to the source of wedding details they fall in love with.
- PLANNING BLOG: Our blog is a platform for Featured Vendors to share insight and expertise into the planning process!
What inspired your business name?
CHAD: After a long time of thinking about it, coming up with many possibilities, Jodi text me a picture of Love, Madison Weddings written on a post-it note. (I have no idea if that’s cause that’s all she had or if that’s the way great businesses are supposed to start. On a post-it.) and BAM! that was it.
JODI: We had been brainstorming a lot of names and I was turning some of them over in my mind one day. I kept getting stuck on the fact that they felt so impersonal. We wanted our site to be fun and conversational. I started thinking about conversations and my mind settled in on the closing of a love letter. I scribbled it down on a post-it note because that was the closest thing I had, text it to Chad with a bunch of question marks in the subject, and when he responded with an exclamatory yes Love, Madison Weddings was born!
How long have you been in business?
We’ve been a state-recognized business for 2 year and 2 months, but the site has been live for just under two years. We worked behind the scenes for 4 months to take our idea from post-it note to published website, officially launching on June 2, 2015.
Why did you choose to pursue your current profession?
Honestly, it chose us. I (Jodi) worked in advertising for about 10 years before our daughter was born. For a number of reasons we decided that I would stay home with her, which I feel incredibly blessed to be able to do but I also saw it as an opportunity to pursue something else professionally. What, I didn’t know, but knew we’d figure it out along the way. I had organized a ton of corporate events in the past and enjoyed the logistics of it all, so I initially started an event planning business. As Chad and I were working on the marketing plan for that we stepped into the shoes of the local vendors we now serve. We went through the process of evaluating advertising options and projected ROI and uncovered the opportunity for a niche site like ours.
What sets your business apart?
Our site truly features only local vendors and venues (Madison proper +35-45 miles depending on direction). National planning websites sort vendors and venues into larger geographic territories, often putting Madison and Milwaukee together, so couples still have a lot of work to determine what information is relevant to them.
Additionally, we are a publishing partner with all of our vendors so our blog shines the spotlight on their area of expertise and shares information relevant to local brides.
Describe your ideal client(s).
Our ideal client is anyone who loves what they do and wants to reach our readers. They value our collaborative approach and are excited to share their expertise with Madison-area brides and grooms.
What’s on your iPod, Pandora, etc. while you work?
CHAD: When I’m working, heavy metal mostly. Sevendust, Slipknot, old school Metallica or Iron Maiden. Judas Priest. It seems to help me concentrate. However, sometimes I’ll lighten it up with some JT or old school jams. Some country music but not too much these days. At least not when I’m working anyways.
JODI: Usually if Chad and I are both working at night, he plays the music and I zone out on whatever I’m working on. If I’m by myself, I usually switch between my go-to Pandora stations – Amos Lee, Foo Fighters and Motown. It depends on what I’m doing and how fast I need to get it done!
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
CHAD: Play with our daughter. Work out. Enjoy craft beer, specifically IPAs. Check out new breweries or go antique shopping with Jodi.
JODI: We work a lot and are trying to find more balance. It’s tough though because we love what we do and can’t help but be constantly talking about it or dreaming up new ideas. That all said, I also enjoy our family dance parties and overall silliness, brewery touring and just spending time outside. I used to run half marathons and would love to train again soon… I have a love/hate relationship with running though, I won’t lie.
Who inspires you?
CHAD: My wife inspires me. Her attention to detail. The way she works. The way she interacts with our daughter. I love Jodi very much and every day she inspires me to be better at life.
JODI: Is it corny if we say each other? I don’t care – Chad inspires me too. We decided together that quitting my job to stay home with our daughter was what was best for our family. And at that time, we had no idea Love, Madison Weddings was in our future. When I suggested we invest a bunch of money we didn’t have (since we’d just cut our household income in half AND had a newborn) into an idea we didn’t know for sure would pan out, he poured us each a glass of wine and started dreaming right alongside me.
Also my best friend Jen. We’ve known each other 20 years and she is hands-down the hardest working person I’ve ever met. And she is so thoughtful – the kind of person you expect to see on the Ellen show being honored for being so awesome. (I’d write Ellen too, but Jen would hate the attention. I still might do it someday though…)
Do you have a quote you live by?
Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”, and
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
I refer to a lot of Bible verses depending on what season I am seeking counsel on or celebrating in life. In business, most of the quotes I relate to revolve around the concept that busyness does not equal business. I embraced the #hustle life for years before starting Love, Madison Weddings and it prepared me to think quickly, strategically and efficiently. I wouldn’t change a thing about the journey here, but now that I’m here I work a lot differently because I can. When Love, Madison Weddings becomes a source of more stress than joy in my life, it’s a cue that I need to re-evaluate and improve our processes, or even shift our priorities for awhile.
Getting married in Madison or looking to connect with local brides and grooms? We’d love to hear from you! Please feel free to contact us for more information or to share any feedback you have!