Where are brides looking for you?

When brides today are looking for a service, where to they look? Not in the phone book, that’s for sure. So how should you allocate your advertising budget? We’ve compiled some handy statistics to show you exactly where brides are looking for you.

We asked brides “If you were looking to hire a professional wedding consultant/planner, what sources would you consult to find one?” Not surprisingly, the majority of brides (75.8%) said their first move would be to ask friends and family for recommendations. So, make personal connections with your brides. That connection will only benefit you in the future when she tells all of her friends what a tremendous help you were on her special day.

Astoundingly, only 41.3% of brides said that the first place they’d look for a consultant was through a search engine. Apparently, not all brides are “googling” local wedding planners. What they are doing however, is consulting wedding websites and online forums. 63.3% of brides said they would consult a wedding website or forum first when searching for a consultant.

A third party wedding website is a more reliable review of your company than other sites, which is one reason more brides may be looking there. Third party sites are the Internet equivalent of asking for friend and family recommendations. Most sites have places for other brides to leave comments and reviews on what they liked or didn’t like about a given service – yet another reason to form those personal connections with your clientele.

If you don’t have a website, get one. On the Internet, looks matter. Your website is a representation of your business, and if it looks unprofessional, so do you. Connecting with other local businesses on the net is a great way to grow your company. And blogging allows you to share your industry knowledge while attracting new brides and grooms. There are endless ways to get your name out on the Internet; it just takes a little time and research to do it.

Though bridal shows are important, only 44% of brides said that they’d look for a planner at a show. While you might attract brides who didn’t necessarily know they were looking for a planner, less than half set out to a show in search of one. Bridal shows may still be beneficial, but you may have to work harder than other vendors to grab brides’ attention.

Though not as popular as the Internet, print is still a viable medium with 30% of brides indicating that they would consult a wedding magazine, directory or other publication in search of a planner. Depending on the size of your company, allocating part of your advertising budget to print may be advantageous. Unlike other publications, brides will probably always buy bridal magazines. They’re a tangible source of inspiration, and it’s a guaranteed way to market to your target demographic.

Last (and least) comes the phone book. Only 17.4% of brides said they’d consult their phonebook to find a planner. No surprise here, given that 81.8% of today’s brides are under 30 and grew up surfing the web. In fact, almost half of brides (49.4%) are twenty-five or younger, and only 18.2% of brides are over thirty.

The bottom line: the world of weddings is becoming more technologically focused, and word of mouth has a new medium as social media is making it easier for brides to share their opinions and experiences. Market yourself in the places brides are looking, but remember, personal connections with clients are as important (if not more so) than ever.