Success Stories: Candice Coppola of Jubilee Events

October 25, 2018
Wedding PR Success Stories Candice Coppola

Name: Candice Coppola

Website: http://www.eventjubilee.com, http://www.eventjubileecaribbean.com, http://www.candicecoppola.com

Press page: http://eventjubilee.com/press/

Bio: Candice Coppola is the owner and creative director of Jubilee Events and Jubilee Events: Caribbean, an event design and planning studio with offices in Cheshire, Connecticut and Barbados. After launching in 2007, she quickly became a sought after event designer, working with clients all over the world. Her signature feminine style is a mixture of the things she loves: bold colors, unexpected details, feminine touches and anything and everything gold! Candice mentors event planners as an instructor at the QC Event Planning School and through her coaching company CandiceCoppola.com. In 2013, she co-authored her first book, The White Dress in Color. In 2014, Candice eloped with her husband, Jason, in a small church overlooking the Caribbean sea. She now lives on the beautiful island of Barbados, planning destination weddings for clients around the globe.

Candice Coppola Jubilee Events

Candice Coppola. Photo by Carla Ten Eyck Photography

Where have you been featured?

We’ve been fortunate enough to receive a wide variety of publicity from local publications to national, online features, TV and radio. When I started Jubilee Events in 2007, I dreamed of having my work featured in a glossy magazine. Our first feature came from the regional BRIDES in 2009 when they featured a photoshoot we created on a whim! That shoot led to further opportunities producing content for magazines— where our team was sought out to produce magazine covers and fashion stories.

After several years, we got a book deal with a publisher and wrote the inspirational coffee table book, The White Dress in Color — Inspirations for the Modern Bride. That was definitely a highlight in my career! Another highlight was being featured in several magazines that were not wedding related— like InStyle, Elle, and Glamour. The biggest highlight was Elle Decor, which I have a pile of issues dating back to…. a long time ago! It is my favorite magazine.

Was getting featured a deliberate part of your marketing strategy?

I made a conscience effort to engage with editors and bloggers as I built my business— offering content and advice whenever they needed it. It’s important as a business owner to constantly network and reach out to people with your story and style. Trust me— the world wants to know what you have to say!

Candice Coppola press

How did you go about getting featured?

All the press we’ve acquired over the years has been from our own efforts and networking; whether it was networking with press directly or being introduced to them by colleagues. There is a lot of power in having a publicist — especially if you just don’t have the time or finesse to put into your PR strategy. I’m a firm believer, however, that a business owner should understand every facet of their company FIRST before they hire or delegate tasks out. This ensures that you understand what goes into the position, and you’ll seek out someone who is qualified to do the work.

How has getting media attention impacted your business?

Aside from retaining clients who saw our work featured somewhere, it has given our business credibility. We are fortunate to sit at the table with some of the best in our industry— all because of the press we’ve received and the credibility it has lent our business (especially in the early days where we were just starting out).

Over the years, the media attention we have received has also helped me to define and develop my personal brand— which leads to further opportunities for me, personally, as an expert.candice coppola modern luxury bride

What would you advise wedding pros who want to get publicity?

Get back on Twitter. I know you’re probably reading this and saying… huh? But it’s true! Many freelance writers (who most magazines hire for their content) are on Twitter, as well as the magazines themselves and all their editors. Twitter has become a place for experts and journalists— and you should be on there! It’s a great place to engage directly with people and make connections.

I completely agree! I always encourage my clients to use Twitter to interact with journalists. Any tips for using it well?

Yes. ENGAGE others. Don’t just push content from other social media platforms and think that someone will see it. You must ENGAGE with those you follow and those whom you want to follow you back— by striking up conversations, sharing their content, and most importantly— sharing content your audience is interested in.

Candice’s Twitter handle is @candice_coppola. You can also find her on Instagram and Pinterest @eventjubilee.

The White Dress in Color

The White Dress in Color

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Meet Jennifer Stein, Editor in Chief of Destination I Do

June 13, 2018
Meet Jennifer Stein, Destination I Do

Jennifer Stein, who is the Editor in Chief of the popular destination wedding magazine Destination I Do, has long been a colleague of mine. Though we’ve never met in person – she lives in Arizona – for years we have discussed story ideas, projects and different clients that I wanted her to know about. When a couple of months ago, the other prominent destination wedding title Destination Weddings & Honeymoons folded, I reached out to Jennifer to ask her what she thought and how this news will affect her magazine and the wedding industry as a whole. I also wanted to know more about her and she happily agreed to share her thoughts. I hope you enjoy learning from this Q&A as much as I did.

Jennifer Stein, Destination Media

Name: Jennifer Stein

Current job: Editor in Chief / Owner / Publisher of Destination I Do Magazine

Website: www.destinationido.com

Follow her on: @destinationido and https://www.facebook.com/jennifersteindido

Bio: Jennifer Stein is the co-founder of Destination Media, LLC which was established in 2004 and publishes the international title, Destination I Do Magazine. Jennifer has over 17 years of business and publishing experience and was recognized as one of the “Top 35 Entrepreneurs Under 35” by Arizona Republic. As Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Jennifer has helped drive revenue growth by 135% since 2010 and has elevated the brand by collaborating with some of the best in the wedding and travel industries.

 

How did you become the publisher of Destination I Do?

The subject of travel was always on my radar, but not necessarily weddings. In college, I was an assistant wedding planner at a local golf course and while there, I realized my desire for something different from the “sea of sameness” I worked with weekend after weekend. I decided when it was my turn to tie the knot, I would do something unique and away from home. Fast-forward to post-college when I was working at a smaller publishing company where I gleaned hands-on experience in the business. After 4 years, I left my corporate job and started Destination I Do. The publishing company was perfect preparation for starting my business and the magazine proved to be perfect preparation for my own destination wedding in 2005.

What has been your favorite project to work on at Destination I Do?

I think my absolute favorite was our “Mad about Malachite” photo shoot in Costa Rica. It was one part FAM trip (Editor’s note: a trip designed to familiarize event vendors with a venue) and one part photo shoot. We started the concept months in advance and watching the final design come together with talented vendors I respect and adore was a total thrill. Everyone worked their tails off to come up with something stellar and the end product was something we all were extremely proud of. It made me truly appreciate what goes in to creating the perfect day for a couple. It was a joy to showcase it in print and on our website. You can see a video of it here:

How do you typically find vendors for the magazine?

It’s a combination of us discovering something or someone through research or networking at events (my favorite event for networking is Engage! as we’ve found many sources there), having PR people or companies submit to us directly, or through our travels. Our team travels to every place you see in the pages of Destination I Do. There isn’t a place we feature we haven’t been. That’s in part to make sure it’s as great as the website or PR person makes it look and also to ensure it’s a good fit for a honeymooning couple or a destination wedding group. We also vet all the products we feature in the magazine and on our blog to make sure those are worth our readers’ investment as well.

So what would be the best way for a wedding vendor to get your attention?

By knowing our product, learning our submission guidelines and being relevant. We are inundated by pitches that aren’t really a fit for our brand or audience. It’s a waste of the vendor’s time and ours. One easy mismatch to avoid is submitting a wedding that’s not actually a destination wedding. The couple needs to travel at least 2 hours from home for us to consider it. If the vendors take the time to scroll through our site and get to know who does what at our company and what our magazine is all about, they will quickly know if it’s a match. It’s like dating…no reason to continue going out with someone who isn’t a good match.

What one piece of advice would you give to wedding professionals looking to get featured?

This might sound obvious, but by being straightforward, honest and courteous. I cannot tell you how many times we work with someone for the first time and find out that the same wedding the planner or photographer told us was not being used elsewhere shows up in our social media feed because it’s being featured on a well-known blog after we’ve already put it into layout or (and yes this has actually happened) on our cover. We only publish 14 weddings a year in print, so we look for events that will speak to our readers and make it worth their while to read the magazine. If we included images they could see by opening their Pinterest feed, we’re not giving them anything unique and therefore we’re watering down the industry.

We’re lucky to have a great relationship with the majority of the vendors we work with. We wouldn’t be able to create our magazine without the submissions that are sent to us. For this we are abundantly grateful and humbled.

Destination I Do shoot with Brian Worley

Destination I Do shoot with Beautiful Day Photography, YourBash!, Tropical Occasions

What does the recent closure of Destination Weddings & Honeymoons mean for the future of Destination I Do?

Competition is a good thing. It helps everyone stay sharp. It pushes us to be better and to look forward to what we can achieve with our brand and how to set ourselves apart. With that being said, because I see other titles besides DWH as competition, it really won’t change our trajectory. We are going strong and have found our place in this growing industry. We feel extremely fortunate to have weathered bad economies, increasing prices and an ever-changing media industry.

Does DWH closing mean that print is dead or that the destination wedding industry bubble has burst? No and no. I can’t speak to why DWH shut down, but I can speak to the health of the destination wedding industry and print media. Destination weddings are thriving: 49% of couples are doing a wedding 2+ hours from home.

With print, it seems to depend on where you look. Newspapers and certain print magazines are indeed suffering, but bridal seems to be holding strong. It could be that purchasing wedding magazines is a right of passage when one gets engaged. Our readers long to see pages of beautiful gowns and gorgeous locations and get inspired by real couples who had their own destination weddings. They are reaching for our print product and using it to plan their weddings. That’s good news for us! However, I won’t make it sound like it’s been an easy journey all the way. The 12 years we’ve been in business have been a wild ride and we’ve seen our share of ups and downs. The good news is, we’re on an upswing!

Winter 2017 Destination I Do cover

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Meet the Press: Lara Burnap of California Wedding Day

August 10, 2017
Meet Lara Burnap, California Wedding Day

Lara Burnap has been the Editor-in-Chief at California Wedding Day for the past 5 years, covering bridal fashion, design, décor and more. She has more than 15 years of editing and publishing experience. She has covered celebrity and red carpet fashion at E! Entertainment and E! Online and tracked down the latest local trends, culture and happenings as the executive editor of Los Angeles Confidential magazine.

Lara Burnap, California Wedding Day

How did you become a wedding journalist?

When I was a little girl, I had a box where I clipped wedding dresses from newspapers and magazines so I’d have them on hand when I got married. Clearly, weddings have always been my passion! In reality, I landed at California Wedding Day when the founder of Red Tricycle, a children’s website where I was freelancing, introduced me to the Editorial Director at Tiger Oak publications during their search for an editor.

Now that you’ve been doing it for 5 years, what do you like most about covering the wedding industry?

The talent and creativity in this industry is so inspiring—and especially in today’s environment where couples are no longer bound by tradition or expectation. In fact, couples look to surprise guests at their weddings with the unexpected, whether it be a high-fashion wedding gown, unique wedding vows, the reception design, a food experience… anything goes.

I recently attended a wedding where the couple, Christopher and Phillip, delivered 3 challenges to each other as part of their wedding vows. The dares included eating a piece of dark chocolate to prove that love can be both bitter and sweet to drinking a mystery cocktail as a promise to keep spontaneity and trust a part of their lives. The guests loved it and the laughter, applause and cheering made their ceremony all that more special and true to their personalities.

I love that! So what has been your favorite project to work on?

Our Summer 2017 issue of California Wedding Day really is one of my favorites. It’s filled with so many creative and beautiful ideas. Some of the highlights include a gorgeous garland-style bouquet created by Mindy Rice Design that is so dreamy.

Mindy Rice garland

Florist: Mindy Rice Designs | Photo by Elizabeth Messina

Plus, the fashion shoots really took my breath away. We found a lovely way to share the latest trend of super sheer gowns, some of which can border on risqué – but that’s what I love about the wedding industry today, there’s no right or wrong—it’s about embracing what (and who!) you love. Case in point, one of the real weddings we shared included this incredible geometric backdrop that was created by the groom–who also designed their invitations. Proof that DIY can go to the next level.

Hayley Paige in California Wedding Day

Photo by Martin Rusch; Dress by Hayley Paige; HMU by Make-up Therapy

How do you usually find sources for your stories?

Research. As I sift through beautiful Instagram posts and images from real wedding submissions, I’ll start to see a trend that is falling into place or a series of images that tell a story.

All of our fashion shoots are created in house and typically if we are looking for a florist for a bouquet or backdrop, we  reach out to them through our network of preferred vendors. Other times, I may reach out to a florist or event designer whose work I’ve seen on Instagram or other social media that inspires me or meshes with our concept.  

What’s the best way for a wedding professional to get your attention?

As a writer, I want to know the full story. So when submitting a real wedding, don’t forget to include how the design and inspiration came to be. Yes, we love hearing about the couple, but their love story and the design are intertwined and those details can make the ordinary become extraordinary. And, understand that we get so many submissions that immediate response isn’t going to happen. Be patient and follow up with kindness!

What advice would you give to wedding professionals looking to get featured?

Key words: creativity, perspective, unique. I’m always looking for the next inspiration. I don’t want to see the same thing over and over, I want details and ideas that take a concept and give it an unexpected twist. Final note? Pare down images! Nothing is more frustrating than a full album with thousands of images. Take the time to hone the submission and create a story through the images you select— highlighting the best details and moments.

You can check out California Wedding Day on www.californiaweddingday.com or follow them on social media @californiaweddingday.

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Learn How to Guest Blog | June 7

June 6, 2017
Guest blogging tips for wedding pros

Guest blogging is one of the most overlooked ways to get publicity for your wedding business. I’ve always been a huge fan of guest blogging because it’s a great way to share your expertise and build your brand. That’s why I often write for other blogs and I make all my clients guest blog for major wedding sites like Inside Weddings, InStyle, Bridal Guide and others.

That’s why I’m excited to give you some tips on how to get guest blogging opportunities. Join me tomorrow, Wednesday, June 7, at 1PM EST on Twitter. I’ll be chatting with Julie Albaugh of Wedding Market News and spilling all the trade secrets.

Even if you don’t have a Twitter account, simply go on Twitter.com and search for #weddingmarket to find the live chat.

Guest blogging tips for wedding pros

You’ll learn:

  • How to find best fitting blogs
  • Best way to pitch your guest post idea
  • Types of articles blogs want
  • Writing tips to guarantee success
  • And much more!

You’ll also get to ask questions about your own experience with guest blogging and I’ll try to answer everyone I can. I hope to see you at 1PM EST on Twitter as I reveal my tips and tricks for landing great guest blogging opportunities.

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Meet the Press: Dobrina Zhekova of InStyle.com

May 24, 2017
Meet the Press Dobrina Zhekova InStyle

Dobrina Zhekova is a freelance writing/editor who covers all things weddings for InStyle.com. Originally from Bulgaria, Dobrina moved to New York City seven years ago to get a masters in journalism, and then started working at ELLE.com as a digital producer. After two years, she got exposed to the bridal world during a stint at Brides.com, but then moved to Washington DC where she currently covers weddings, travel, and style for several lifestyle publications, including InStyle.com where she pens weekly stories for its Weddings sections.

Dobrina Zhekova writer

How did you become a wedding journalist?

I consider myself more of a lifestyle journalist. I certainly write about weddings a lot, mainly for InStyle.com, but I also do a lot of fashion market stories, travel, style, and even home décor. I started about a year ago, when I helped launch the Weddings section on InStyle.com. At the time I covered a lot of pop culture and beauty for them. I’ve just been so lucky to be able to continue to contribute to the site daily.

What do you like about covering the wedding industry?

I love the fact that it’s changing. It’s no longer bound by traditions and etiquette rules. Couples are looking for alternative ways to celebrate their love and it’s so exciting to be a part of this process by writing about it. Brides no longer have to wear white down the aisle, you can have donuts instead of a heavily adorned multi-layered cake, you can hire a food truck, get married in a gallery a week after you’ve gotten engaged (check out pop-up weddings). Some of these things were unthinkable a decade or two ago. Now, it’s all about having fun. And I firmly believe weddings should be about fun and celebrating love, and not stressing out about the right shade of cocktail napkins.

Amen to that! What has been your favorite recent story?

Last year, I wrote about travel blogger Sonja Lishchynski’s engagement in Prague and it was the most amazing story ever. First of all, she waited for 18 months for a retired Hungarian jeweler to hand craft the ring that she proposed with. How cool is that?! She got engaged in Prague so you can imagine what their photos looked like—it’s just magical, and she was one of the most positive and funny people I’ve ever spoken to.

travel blogger Sonja Lishchynski Prague engagement

How do you usually find sources for your stories?

I do a lot of research—Instagram for photographers, venues, food, and anything visual you could think of. I also look at previous press coverage if there’s any but the main thing is the person or vendor’s website and social media so I can get an idea of their work and aesthetic. Of course, I also have good PR contacts so I reach out to them whenever I need a source for a story.

What’s the best way for a wedding pro to get your attention?

A polite email would be nice 🙂 That way you can (briefly) tell me about your business and what makes you different from everyone else. Also, include at least 3 photos so I can get an idea of what your work looks like (if relevant).

What one piece of advice would you give to wedding professionals looking to get featured?

Tell me what makes your work unique. It’s so refreshing when you see something different out there. Not every single wedding has to be Instagram-perfect. Be different. We’re always looking for that special element, and it really could be just a small detail that makes a wedding, a cake, a dress unique.

You can follow and connect with Dobrina on Twitter and Instagram @dobrinazhekova. 

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