Behind The Scenes: Vibrant Ceremonies Central
Like a lot of small business owners, I run Vibrant Ceremonies from my home office. I do a lot of work here, from Zoom calls with interested couples to filing marriage licenses. Take a trip with me to my office.
Computer and Apps
My computer is the axis around which all of my productivity revolves. No surprise there, that's got to be the case for most small businesses. And second to that is my phone.
In addition to the typical software businesses use, like MS Office and Zoom, I make heavy use of Honeybook. Honeybook is a web-based booking and organization software used fairly widely through the wedding industry. This application helps me to track my upcoming events and organize proposals and contracts.
Canva is an incredible graphic design software package. Another web-based program, it's intuitive, point and click, and full of helpful templates. I also have a brand kit and logos saved in the program. Through Canva I have designed Instagram posts, booklets, and cards.
I do use the good ole Microsoft Office suite. I use Word to draft ceremonies, assembling pieces of couples’ stories, readings, remarks, and more into a cohesive piece. I also write all my blog posts in Word and I use Excel to track expenses.
Oh, and I use the Postal Service website to print postage. Far more convenient than trekking to the post office every time I need to mail a license, it saves me tons of time. The rates are the same as buying postage at the post office, and the envelopes with printed postage can be dropped in a blue letter box.
I keep all of the above applications on my phone, too. They have great mobile tools (except the USPS app, which is kind of buggy) and I rely heavily on them, especially to make use of pockets of time here and there.
My scanner plays a key role is preparing to file licenses. I find it generates better PDF files than my phone does. I run both my copy and the court’s copy of each license I file through my scanner. It creates proof that the license was signed in the event that it gets lost, although it's important to note that I always send licenses with tracking and have never had one get lost.
I love, love, love office supplies! And stationery supplies take the cake! I have Vibrant Ceremonies cards for professional correspondence. Stamps: I love them, too. I match my stamps to the letters I send (so of course I use love themed stamps).
To keep myself organized beyond what I do online I keep a disc bound notebook. This notebook holds half sheets of paper. I have custom designed note pages for planning social media posts and blog ideas. I also keep track of upcoming ceremonies in the book. Being disc bound, swapping out and rearranging pages is easy.
Along with stationery comes my penchant for fountain pens. I use blue and deep gray inks for almost everything. I have two “everyday writers”, one of which is clipped in my notebook.
I have a separate, full-sized notebook that is covered in gray fabric that I use when I officiate. It holds the couple’s ceremony as well as serves as a safe place to hold the license afterward.
I take Vibrant Ceremonies calls on my cellphone. My business number forwards straight to my cell, and couples can always contact me that way. Further, I have the Zoom app on my phone so that I can log into meetings with client couples and vendors (of course I also use Zoom from my laptop).
When it comes to email, clients and inquiring couples can easily reach me through email, my website, and the big wedding sites directly on my phone. They all forward to my email inbox and I recognize that with wedding planning time can be of the essence, so I'm happy to reply as soon as I can.
I keep Instagram on my phone. I consider it a valuable tool to let clients and fellow wedding industry vendors know what I am doing. I like to pop a picture or video up daily to stay current. In addition to Canva, mentioned above, I keep InShot on my phone to edit video. I love seeing what my client couples are up to, and even more so I like to see pics of their ceremonies; feel free to tag me with @vibrant_ceremonies.
I use a lot of tools to run my business. I love them all, they make things much easier.
Does any of this surprise you? What tools do you recommend for productivity?