Jeff’s Side of the Story…

frosty at stairs

Being in the wedding business,  we tend to be absent from quite a bit of the weekend social life our friends and family tend to enjoy.  You can imagine how excited we were to be invited to an adult Saturday night party that we could actually say yes to!

I couldn’t wait to hang with some cool peeps and enjoy an adult beverage.  Here’s the some what ironic part…

All the guests were recent brides and grooms.

The party was being thrown by a photographer couple we are friends with.  They invited their past couples to a holiday party at their home.

What a awesome idea! I was amazed at how many showed up, some traveling hours and actually getting a hotel room overnight to make this party.  Can you say “customer satisfaction?”

Steal This Idea! 

It was a stroke of brilliance for this photographer couple to invite their past and present clients to a holiday party.  Not only did every guest have something huge in common, it is a great way to build trust, rapport and referrals.

Anyway, back to the party…

At first I felt a bit  weird being the only non-newlywed (what if I was missing the tell tale glow?)  Not a problem.  I really like Steph..A LOT so that wasn’t an issue.

Right off the bat we were being asked “so what was your date, have you gotten your pictures yet?”

We decided to seize the moment and go undercover, become the fly on the wall, and get the unvarnished, ugly truth.

What are they really saying about us?

Steph’s Side of the Story…

So there we were surrounded by about a dozen recently married couples.  While Jeff tipped back some rather delicious cranberry pomegranate cocktails, I thought…market research time!

It didn’t take much prodding to loosen up those tongues.

Here are some of the big beefs brides have with wedding vendors…

What Brides Think About Bridal Shows

  • Wedding vendors are too aggressive.

The bride says:

“It was just awful!  All these people coming at me and bombarding me with information.  It was just overwhelming.”

Vendor Takeaway:

Brides desperately need to be helped, not sold.  Ask her questions that help her uncover what she wants, because she probably doesn’t know yet, instead of telling her about you and your services.  Otherwise, you’ll drive her away.

Be the oasis in the center of crazy at a bridal show by NOT rushing her and NOT forcing your materials on her.

If you want to REALLY win her over, give her advice and help that has nothing to do with your services.  It will earn her trust and bring her back, even if she isn’t ready to book right now.

  • Wedding vendors drive brides away by pressuring them to set a date.

The bride says:

“Everyone kept asking me when my date was, and when I said I didn’t have one they’d tell me, ‘You better book it fast!’  It made me feel pressured, like I was behind.”

Vendor Takeaway:

It’s an important qualifier to ask the bride if she has her date so that you can confirm you availability and avoid wasting time with someone who you can’t book.

However, remember that she’s already really overwhelmed with planning her wedding, whether she tells you this or not.

If she doesn’t have a date, don’t warn her about the dangers of waiting to book…even though you’re right…because you don’t have a trusted relationship with her yet and it will only freak her out.  And if she associates that “freak out” feeling with you, she’s NOT going to book you.

  • Be a real person and not a company to attract more brides.

The bride says:

“It seemed like everyone at the bridal show was a big company.  I just wanted to work with real people, not a big corporation.”

Vendor Takeaway:

Be real, personal and genuine at a bridal show.  There is a temptation to portray yourself like a big company because it makes you seem more important or credible.

If you’re a one or two person operation, don’t hide it!  This is actually a strength.And if you ARE a bigger company, train your sales reps to deliver a personalized experience.

What Brides Remember About Their Vendors…

  • Brides remember the things that went wrong…even when they don’t complain about it to you.

The bride says:

“Our DJ wasn’t very good.  He played okay music and everything, but he gave a bad impression, and our guests noticed.  Some of my friends came up and said, ‘Is your DJ hitting on the bartender?  He came up to us at the end of the night with dip tucked into his cheek.  Disgusting!”

Vendor Takeaway:

Stay professional on the wedding day.  Don’t drink, try to pick up the staff or get caught chomping on a pastrami sandwich.  She might not say anything about it that night because she’s too busy being a bride, but she IS paying attention.

  • Couples don’t always tell you what they REALLY think.  

The bride says:

“At the end of the night, the DJ came up and asked if he could use us as a reference.  Of course, I said, yes.  What was I going to do, tell him NO to his face?  If someone did call me for a reference, though, I’d recommend that they NOT hire him.”

Vendor Takeaway:

When you ask a bride or groom for their opinion of your work, your website or your services, 95% of people are going to say something nice.  They don’t want conflict and they don’t want to hurt your feelings.

If you want to know the truth, you have to look at your results.  Are you booking the weddings you want?  Are you getting the price you want?

If you aren’t getting the results you want, you need to change, no matter what your clients tell you, because the evidence doesn’t lie.

Have you ever been the fly on the wall listening in to the conversations of brides and grooms?  What did you learn?

Photo by Steph