Perfect Wedding Guide hosts three networking luncheons per year for local wedding businesses. This allows businesses to learn valuable information on the wedding industry and connect with other wedding businesses. On July 27, 2011 we hosted our 2nd luncheon of the year at the Courtyard by Marriott in Santa Fe. For this luncheon we hosted a Bridal Board which consisted of 12 brides and grooms who were in the process of planning a wedding. We asked the Bridal Board questions that had been given by wedding businesses. A list of these questions along with the paraphrased answers are below. This allowed business to understand what brides and grooms are thinking and what selling tactics are working or are not very effective. There was also a fabulous lunch was served by the Courtyard and dessert provided by Treehouse Pastry Shop & Cafe. We had a great time and, as always, a big thanks goes out to our following sponsors:
The Photography Studio, Photography services
Treehouse Pastry Shop & Cafe, Dessert
Differently Designed, Invitations
Garcia’s tents & Events, Linens
Below are some of the questions and answers received at the luncheon:
1.What is the most important thing you are looking for when hiring a vendor? Personality is important. Quality at a good cost. Online reviews and recommendations. Low travel fees to out of area weddings (rural areas of New Mexico). Personal touch. Being able to work with diverse range of clients (plus size dresses, etc.). Having a passion for what you do.
2. How many bridal shows did you attend before your wedding and how many vendors did you book from bridal shows? Booked some vendors at bridal shows. Brides followed up with vendors they were interested in. Out of area brides don’t have access to bridal shows so they rely on the internet for planning. Some brides do not like a lot of follow up after shows (lots of phone calls and redundant emails).
3. Did you hire a wedding planner? If so, when during your planning process did you decide you needed a planner? If not, why? Wants to be in control however the fiancé (groom) wanted a wedding planner to relieve stress from the bride. Some brides don’t want a planner because they want to get to know their vendors on a personal level.
4. How important is photography to you and what do you look for in a photographer? Want to capture unique moments. One bride said that there’s 3 things that are the most important on your wedding date: the ring, the man, and a good photographer. Some brides like the photojournalistic style, creativity, and not standard poses.
5. What are some tips you would give to vendors trying to contact you and other brides? Put pricing on brochures. Most brides haven’t received a lot of calls (direct marketing). Wants referrals from professional to professional. Email is best form of contact for most brides. Do not send weekly emails with the same information and from the same vendor. Don’t be pushy with your sales brides need time to decide and are overwhelmed with the planning process. Don’t use the line “must book now cause the date is popular”. Brides want information all upfront. One bride mentioned that she does like at least one follow up phone call to check in (don’t be pushing though). Some of the brides said go DO bridal shows and make sure you have the owner or manager in the booth. Brides don’t like discussing their wedding with staff members that will most likely not be involved. For direct marketing, make sure your calls are personalized and are good for scheduling appointments. Make sure you send personal emails (to just them not to an entire bridal database)– they will more likely get opened.