Today we’re chatting with The Relentless Bride. Now married, the busy Amy Jean Chung also happens to be the Director of Community Development for Weddzilla.com, the first wedding planning and resource site, fully integrated with social media. Read on as Amy shares about her role at Weddzilla as well as all the cool, new features the site has to offer planning brides and wedding vendors. Enjoy!
What is Weddzilla.com and what is your role within Weddzilla? Weddzilla is the first website in the wedding industry to fully integrate the wedding planning process into popular social networks. Weddzilla leverages the power of community to simplifying the wedding planning process for our Nearlyweds. It’s all about connecting them with their perfect vendors and making their wedding planning easy, social, and fun. It’s Wedding planning simplified.
My role with Weddzilla is the Director of Community Development so my focus is on creating and stimulating the Weddzilla community for both brides and vendors. The main avenues of communication that we use are the Weddzilla Blog, which has many brides and Mrs. Bloggers as well as featured vendor blog posts which are provided to help brides with advice, answers to general questions and tips on how to plan stress-free; twitter and facebook. Our main goal is to simplify wedding planning with useful social tools and to provide a community that is supportive, informative and just fun to be involved with.
How is Weddzilla changing the game for online wedding planning? Social media is changing the way brides and vendors interact and Weddzilla is at the forefront of this new frontier. By making it easier for a bride to find her vendor, from near or far, and involving her friends and family with the various social tools on the site planning becomes instant, fun and easy.
What is the one feature you would highlight for Wedding Professionals to use? Our Weddfieds are the game changer for vendors. They allow wedding professionals to be proactive in connecting to the Nearlyweds that need their services anytime they want, without paying for leads. You can set your search parameters by zip code, budget, and wedding date. We notify vendors every time a Nearlywed creates a post that matches their search criteria and they’ll be able to start connecting with the brides they want to work with directly through Weddzilla.
What is the one feature you would highlight for Nearlyweds to use? Our Nearlyweds are loving how easy the Weddmark (a visual bookmarking tool) makes collecting and organizing inspiration from all over the web. And of course they love the fact that each new item they Weddmark between now and September 30, 2010 gives them one entry in the “Weddmark Challenge” and a chance to win a $1,000 gift registry from Macy’s!
Do you do Webinars or educational series to help Nearlyweds or Vendors? I don’t personally but our Director of Marketing, Sara Morgan does. She’s involved in a great social media presentation called “Social or Die.” Making social media a part of your daily business routine is a lot simpler than you may think and our “Social or Die” presentation is takes a straight-shooting approach to help wedding professionals “get real” about how to grow their business through social media.
Tell us about your experience (an anecdote) about working with an up-and-coming internet company. What has the journey been like? Being involved with Weddzilla has truly been a blessing. It’s an amazing feeling to see something start from an idea and grow into a product… especially one that I know will be such a helpful tool for brides everywhere. Planning my own wedding long distance and seeing how much I utilized the internet, I just can’t wait to see how Weddzilla is utilized and the feedback we get on how much easier wedding planning becomes for so many brides out there.
Tell us about your gurus. How did you pick them? What will they be bringing to the Weddzilla community? The Weddzilla Gurus are our team of celebrity wedding professionals that will be sharing their expertise and extensive experience with the Weddzilla Community. The Gurus are not only trendsetters in their respective fields, but are trusted names in the wedding industry. Whether they’re forecasting trends, blogging about their latest wedding experiences, or sharing their weekly tips, the Gurus act as an accessible advisory board for our Nearlyweds and Vendors and allows members of Weddzilla to gain access to, and feel connected with the leaders in their industry through our site.
Why have you made social media such an integral part of Weddzilla.com? Social media isn’t a trend, it isn’t going anywhere. It’s changing the way people interact and the way companies do business. The wedding industry is built around a very social community of brides and vendors. We wanted to create a site that took offline word-of- mouth and social networking and put it into an online format to create that same sense of community through our site. It’s all about engagement, continuous conversation, and instant feedback.
You have a Weddzilla You Tube channel…which videos should we be looking out for? We actually just started putting up some videos to our channel. We want to make it a hub for cool wedding videos from our brides, or users suggest videos to us to add to our site or as a favorite. In addition to wedding related videos you can find tutorials on how to use Weddzilla better, highlights from our launch party, and will be adding more content soon.
What’s on the horizon for Weddzilla? Tell us what we should be looking out for from you guys? Up first is the Guru Awards – that is going to be really cool. We are all about social media and blogs play a huge role in the wedding community and we can’t wait to award 25 great blogs our Blog Guru 2010 title! You thought the Weddmark was cool..wait till you see the iPhone app…It’s going to be addictive!We have a whole bunch of new site features coming soon. The Ideabook, a new twist on the store, and we will be introducing “Wedding helpers” soon which allow our nearlweds to really get social and get their communities or, “wedding helpers” involved in the planning process.
Why did you start blogging? I first started blogging as a way to journal my wedding planning – a place to collect ideas so I wouldn’t forget. WhenI first started blogging, we didn’t have the Weddmark, where I could easily just bookmark images into one place… so the blog was my version of “Weddmark”ing things. Then, it took on a life of its own. I found that researching traditions, colors and pretty much anything wedding related was fun – and it was informative. I also noted that if I wondered it, someone else probably did to, so why not document my research.
Why do you continue to blog now that you’re married? I’m still recapping the wedding, so that is one main reason I am still blogging – and I’m doing a very detailed job because my main goal with the blog was to document my wedding planning and wedding. Another main reason I still blog is b/c it’s a community that I’ve grown very fond of. Sharing, inspiring and just being supportive to others during this fun but also stressful & challenging period in a person’s life makes me feel good.
Do you consider yourself a wedding junkie? Yes. I do love all things weddings. I love weddings that aren’t “my style.” I love weddings that are “my style.” I love weddings and all details about weddings. I really don’t see how anyone can do a wedding detail “wrong” b/c it really is just an expression of one’s personality. At the end of the day, and when the wedding planning is done and the ceremony begins… the main focus for me is the love, marriage, family & friends and happiness: and that’s what i focus on when Bride walks in the door. It’s completely idealistic, but for that one moment – i think its 150% OK to have no other thought in the world.
What do you do as Director of Community Development? (see above How did you get the position? I had left a comment on the Weddzilla blog when I was researching traditions for a post for my own blog. They contacted me and invited me to the launch party and also asked if I would be interested in blogging for their site. I went to their launch party with a few friends and met the co-founders Aaron and Kristen for the first time. I continued to blog for them and actively blog on my own site. I was contacted a couple months later about doing an interview for ABC in regards to Weddzilla. I thought and still think the idea is pretty awesome, so quickly agreed. A few months after that, I had dinner with Kristen and Aaron and we started discussing me coming on board in a deeper and more involved way and it quickly developed into this position. I’ve been very fortunate to be involved in such a great idea with some really amazing people!
How has your life changed since blogging as a bride to be and now as a wife? I truly thought life post-wedding would be calm. I knew that as the wedding date approached, my life would get hectic, but I didn’t think it’d STILL be hectic! But i’m thriving in being a wife. It’s so weird b/c I’ve never been comfortable with titles – “boyfriend” or “fiance” just felt a little awkward, but I love saying “my husband”… and it feels so natural. I think that I’ve taken on the role as wife with an open heart and mind and am really working on making habits right now that will help us maintain a healthy and fun relationship for the rest of our lives. Perhaps, that’s why i feel life is still hectic – b/c I won’t lie, it is hard work – but definitely worth every moment!
Just how busy are you? I’m busy. Well, maybe I just feel busy. From my day job, which takes up 50-60 hrs/week, to finding time for my own blog, and than coordinating the Weddzilla blog and all the new features the site is coming out with weekly – its pretty hectic. On top of which, I have this new wonderful duty of taking care of my husband and kids (aka pups) – so, I could be giving myself more things to do at home, but its responsibilities I feel that help our home life. Oh yeah, and let’s not forget, we’re still trying to maintain a semblance of normalcy with trying to catch up with friends and keeping up with family! It’s busy, but a blessed, hectic, crazy fun busy!
Tell us about your future aspirations as a wedding blogger? I really want to start focusing on my own issues with wedding planning or the industry as well as post-wedding life. It’s been fun sharing great ideas and inspirations, and recapping – but there is so much inspiration out there, I really think my best contribution to the wedding blogosphere will be finding great bride /vendor bloggers for the Weddzilla Blog and then with my own voice, boldly discussing themes, issues and topics that a lot of us go through in daily life and in wedding planning!
Are you still having fun? Yes. I complain at times that my plate is full or that I’m tired, but the truth of the matter is – I love to be run ragged blogging and keeping up with my blog pals and reading great blogs! I just wish i had more hours in the day to read all the wonderful stuff that is out there. On the tool tip, it’s been fun for me to give my opinion to the Weddzilla.com developers on what I think are fundamental tools that the brides/grooms to be could most benefit from and seeing them unfold one by one on the site. It’s a great feeling to be part of something so cool and innovative!
Amy Jean and Larry ceremony image by Hazelnut Photography