written by Jennifer Reitmeyer, WeddingIQ
WeddingIQ is a blog and a resource that I often refer to as a labor of love, because I formed it in 2012 not ever really intending for it to make money. Rather, I just wanted a space in which I could talk about the business of weddings. At the time I started WeddingIQ, beautiful and inspirational wedding blogs really seemed to be hitting their peak, but there were few resources for people who want and need to run successful, sustainable businesses to actually produce those gorgeous, blog-worthy weddings. (To be completely candid, I should also mention that there were – and still are – lots of important issues that I felt needed to be discussed, things like ethical conflicts and questionable business practices, and I definitely intended WeddingIQ to serve as a platform for my very strong opinions on those issues!)Photo by: Kyle Bergner PhotographyI wrote regularly for WeddingIQ for a handful of months after launching four years ago, and then life hit me upside the head – life-altering personal setbacks, and the process of adjusting and rebuilding afterward, pushed this labor of love to the background. I continued to write here and there, but my heart wasn’t in it. For a while there, I wasn’t sure I was even qualified anymore to advise people on how to run their business, let alone to do the work of maintaining a positive façade during a time of turmoil.
Fast forward to early 2015, when Kyle Bergner, one of my dearest friends (who also happens to be a colleague I respect immensely) was also working through a personal crisis of her own. Even amidst all she had going on, she agreed to join me in relaunching WeddingIQ – and to do so in a real time crunch! I’ve been one of WeddingWire’s Education Experts for several years, and around the same time we planned to reboot the WeddingIQ site, I was asked to present a session at their annual WeddingWire World conference. Kyle and I worked tirelessly to get the blog back up and running in time to benefit from all the exposure a major speaking engagement would bring.
A little over a year later, and we’ve done it again! Just this week, we’ve rolled out yet a third iteration of the WeddingIQ site – this time, we have all-new branding and tons of new site features. Because we believe so strongly in providing relevant, real-world business advice and instruction, we’ve also added several new services to benefit wedding pros, including copywriting, photography and more. In addition, we’ve created a library of learning resources (both free and for purchase) on all kinds of business topics. Finally, we’re working to cultivate a community of likeminded business owners who take their work, their integrity and the wedding industry seriously. We’ve created a special email newsletter and exclusive Facebook group just for them and can’t wait to see where that goes.
Of course, Kyle and I are still writing the kind of “tell-it-like-it-is” blog content we’re known for, and we continue to speak at conferences, seminars and other business events both separately and together. I’ve also developed a fantastic clientele of small business owners in the wedding industry and other creative fields for small business coaching, which I truly love.
I wouldn’t say there’s necessarily a “typical” day when it comes to WeddingIQ, because as dedicated as we are to it, it’s a side hustle for us. That means we have to squeeze in a million tasks like writing blog content, editing guest posts, creating graphics, engaging on social media and more, all while maintaining our primary businesses, too. Kyle operates her own photography company, Kyle Bergner Photography, while I head up a wedding entertainment company called MyDeejay and do copywriting and business coaching through a third venture, Firebrand Messaging, in addition to solo parenting two awesome, energetic little boys.
Partnering with a good friend on WeddingIQ has made this passion something that’s more rewarding to pursue than ever. (Having our official “meetings” over cocktails doesn’t hurt!) Kyle and I each bring different skill sets and backgrounds to the table, yet we share similar views on the wedding industry and on what goes into being an entrepreneur, which makes us good collaborators. We both feel strongly that business success requires so much more than just visual inspiration (as much as we enjoy that, too), and that every business owner should be able to define that success on their own terms and have the resources to achieve it. That’s exactly what we’re trying to do with WeddingIQ, and we can’t wait to see where it leads us next!