Brides are usually the ones who seek out and eventually hire wedding planners (grooms are usually along for the ride), and since we launched our sister site My Wedding Workbook a few years ago we have surveyed brides on a number of areas, including their thoughts about hiring a wedding planner. Here are the seven things you should know as a wedding planner about your target audience.
1. They are most worried about their budget, their dress and their appearance.
According to our research, the top three things brides worry about is the cost of their wedding and staying on budget; their dress and attire for the wedding party; and their physical appearance (physical fitness, makeup, hair, etc.). As a wedding planner, you can reassure them that, by hiring you, you can keep their wedding under their specified budget and make sure they and their big day will be elegant and beautiful.
2. The top three places they first look for inspiration are wedding-related Web sites, blogs and search engines.
In the past, the first place a newly engaged bride-to-be looked for inspiration was wedding magazines and publications. But today’s bride is fully plugged in and online searching for wedding ideas within a week of her engagement. So, if you want to be found, you need to have an online presence and the ability to be found on the Web.
3. Most brides still attend bridal shows.
In fact, 70% of brides in our research attend at least one bridal show, with many attending 3 or more. So if you haven’t exhibited at a bridal show yet, you should visit a local show as an attendee to see the turnout and get a feel for if paying to be an exhibitor would be worth your while (and you should definitely ask if exhibitors get the attendee list or can market to the list after the event).
4. They say cost is the main factor in considering hiring a wedding planner.
Let’s break this down. Of the brides who didn’t consider a wedding planner, 75% said they didn’t hire one because it was too expensive. Of the brides who did consider a wedding planner, cost was the top factor in deciding who to hire. You probably already know this through your experience with prospects; however, it emphasizes the need to demonstrate to prospects how you can help them save money (through your connections with vendors and negotiation abilities) and help them get the most value from what they do spend (by avoiding pitfalls, bad vendors, etc.).
5. They’re looking for a planner who they connect with, who has strong vendor relationships and who has experience.
First and foremost, brides place a premium on personal chemistry. For them, they want more than a taskmaster and a planner; they also want someone they feel a bond with. In addition, they want to hear about your relationships with vendors (so you can negotiate good rates for them) and your past experience. So in your pitch, make sure you provide plenty examples and proof of these things. Also, case studies and stories of your event productions on your Web site also help.
6. They’re asking their friends for recommendations.
When brides look for wedding planners to interview, the first place they consult for suggestions is their friends and family, followed by Web sites and online wedding forums, bridal shows and search engines. This should certainly give you a road map of where you need to market your services, starting with actively and regularly asking for referrals from your past and present clients as well as industry partners.
There’s a better way to collaborate and communicate with clients … as well as a way to provide them with better service and with value-add tools that make them even happier they chose you as their planner.