Industry Insider Q&A: BBJ Linens

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A Q&A with Erin Ollendike, the Executive National Sales Director for BBJ Linen. Since 1983, BBJ has been the leader and pioneer in linen rental for the event industry.

Get Wedding Savvy: What are some unrealistic expectations or perceptions clients have when they first contact you?

Erin Ollendike: Typically, the brides have an idea of what they want their wedding to look like. From the color to the style, they have a vision. Most of the time, it’s inspiration from a Pinterest image or Pinterest board. But it’s unrealistic to think this vision and image will remain the same throughout their own designing process. Once we open their eyes to the endless opportunities of looks and linens, their wedding image starts to become their own instead of an image they found on Pinterest.

GWS: How about some misconceptions about your market category in general?

Ollendike: The market now is so influenced by what we see online. We see weddings on Pinterest and Instagram and we want to recreate the look. It can be limiting. It’s important for our brides and our planners to create a look that is unique to them! Finding inspiration is different than recreating an exact look. Your wedding is the time to show your distinct style, if you don’t you may not be happy with the end result.

GWS: What do you want brides to know about your field when comparing vendors?

Ollendike: BBJ has been the leader and pioneer in linen rental for the wedding industry. BBJ established the linen rentals in the wedding industry and continually strives to bring our clients the best products available nationwide. For many years, our talented designers and purchasing teams have traveled the globe with a keen eye, choosing textiles and patterns that are unparalleled and unsurpassed in the industry.

GWS: What things do brides forget to include in their decision making process when selecting vendors in your field?

Ollendike: Often brides don’t realize that they have options when it comes to linen for their weddings. They use whatever their venue provides, which normally doesn’t enhance all the other elements they’ve spent months planning. Quality really makes a difference. Linen doesn’t have to be expensive to make an impact – but it has to look good.  Even with smaller budgets, using quality linen can really transform the look for their event.

GWS: What do you feel is a typical price point for services in your field in the MD/VA/ DC market?

Ollendike: It all depends on the specific vision the bride has. Their venue, too, dictates what type of décor will work best to highlight specific features.  A simple wedding can still look great with the right type of linen and accessories.  We have fabrics to fit every bride’s budget allotment for décor.

GWS: What advice would you give to a bride and groom if you knew they would listen?

Ollendike: I always encourage my clients to not limit themselves and to be open to suggestions from any of their vendors. While they might have an initial idea for a color palette, a look, floral design, or even a menu, it’s great to be open to ideas from the experts. Not only will they end up with a look that is beautiful, but it will be all their own. The professionals they work with have great ideas and concepts to make their entire look or mood even better. [/et_pb_text] [/et_pb_column] [/et_pb_row] [/et_pb_section]

Raquel Shutt

Raquel Shutt is the owner of Wedding Savvy Inc., a premier full-service wedding planning company located in Annapolis. For more than 10 years, Wedding Savvy has been featured in many regional publications such as The Knot Magazine, The Washingtonian, and The Capital, as well as featured on We TV’s “Platinum Weddings.” Her firm has been recognized as one of the best by Weddingwire.com and Capital Gazette. Recently, Raquel was named one of Annapolis’ Finest 40 under 40 by Cystic Fibrosis as well as “People to Watch” by The Capital in 2009.