Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Why Not Join Us?

Now I already know what you are saying....this is just another way to get money out of me when I don't have any for them to get!! Well hold up...let me tell you a little about the investment before you click off this blog. I am probably the poorest person I know....LITERALLY! But I wanted to advance my future career and do it by focusing on things I LOVE to do. I work 2 jobs, one full-time in the school system as a Health Technician and my part-time/as needed position at my former job with the Medical Examiner of Houston County. I was doing everything to make ends meet but said...I want to be known for my work and that means putting that work out there. I love planning Weddings and Events, there is never two in the same and each time you create something beautiful that Wows even myself sometimes. I searched online, because I knew as a woman, I had to have my paper in order to back up my certifications and degrees. That is important for people when they are looking for a planner, they want to know that you have worked hard to get to where you are.

I chose to use Penn Foster College because I could pay monthly (however much I could afford) and become certified thru their online courses. I did not even realize that included in their program I received a free 6 month membership to the Association of Bridal Consultants. I really did not know who they were or what they were about so I started to research. I suggest you do the same, brides and wedding planners/vendors, on their website

"We are the oldest and largest organization exclusively serving wedding professionals, and we have been training wedding coordinators since 1955.

Our programs provide all the information you will need to get started and become successful in this business. Our courses and seminars are also periodically updated to reflect changes in our industry.

At ABC, you will learn from experienced professionals. "

They also have a educational program that you can enroll in that is a online/home based study called the Professional Development Program. They are always about advancing your knowledge in the areas that matter, with conferences, seminars, webinars and more.

At my first meeting, 2 hours up 75 to Atlanta, I was overwhelmed by the how wonderfully amazing these women and men were. Welcomed like they had known me for years, pampered by the different venue locations we visited, showered with information and contacts to immediately start using in my business. I started to have hope that maybe this is worth it. As I continued to explore their website, I admired the Code of Ethics that they stood by....

Standards of Membership
(You must agree to these in order to obtain membership.)
Members will:
  • Supply background information about the member and his/her business, or other information essential to the Association's responsibility to provide factual reports on the profession. 
  • Cooperate with Association activities and efforts to promote and improve the professionalism of the bridal business. 
  • Respond rapidly and honestly to all complaints forwarded by the Association. 
  • Supply, on request, the evidence on which any advertising is based. 
  • Use the Associations name and logo only as authorized. 
  • Pay all association bills in a timely manner. 

Code of Ethics:
Members will...
  • Represent each client fairly and honestly, providing all agreed-to services in a timely and cost-efficient manner.
  • Establish reasonable, proper fees for services and provide written estimates to each client.
  • Use honest factual advertising.
  • Deal with employees fairly, in an unbiased manner.
  • Operate an establishment that is a credit to the Association and the community.
  • Disclose to clients any payment received from suppliers.
For all levels, membership must be maintained in good standing. Lapses in membership are not credited to the time requirements for advancement. 
 At first I did not think much of it, but as I have grown within the Association and my Georgia Chapter, I would never want a bad event/experience to reflect upon the Association that gives me way more than they could ever give me. But I still had no idea of what to do with where I was....

Gail Johnson pictured in the Center
The Georgia Chapter State Coordinator is Gail Johnson, of Gail Johnson Wedding & Events based out of Atlanta. She was my angel that covered me with support and tools needed to grow my business. Now this woman has done it all, she has partnered in a business and hosted so many events I cannot even begin to count. I attended her Novice Workshop where she taught me the basics and the first steps of how to introduce your business to your community. She gave me the push I needed to keep going, and continues to do that along with many other members of our Georgia Chapter. You see, we don't look at each other as competition...but as friends who will help you out and go the distance to advance you as you advance them.

You are probably wondering WHY? am I posting this on my blog. If you are a Vendor or a Wedding Planner and want to become part of a family that will help advance you forward in your have found your new home. If you are a bride who is looking for a planner or a vendor who is guaranteed to be reputable and make your event a success and backed by an Association that has been around since have found a new friend. If we cannot use each other to learn and grow then what possible purpose do we have....if you are looking out for yourself and to make money exclusively then this probably isn't for you. You have to have the passion to grow...the love of people....the want to do things impossible....the need of others for support!!

I am not booming to where I can quit my 2 jobs and do this exclusively....YET!! But I can tell you that the past 6-8 months of membership has brought me more contacts, more brides, more events, more knowledge about this business then I could ever achieve on my own. Don't be too proud to be a part of something proud that you ARE a part of something GREAT!!

Check us me if you want more information...or check out the Association Website. I am the Membership Drive Chairperson for our Georgia Chapter and would love to add your name to the list as a possible prospect to our large family here at ABC!!