When I was planning my wedding a few years back, the most important referrals I stumbled across were those of other brides. I didn’t care about brochures or reviews I saw online or in print. The most glowing editorials meant much less than what I was really looking for: what real brides had to say.
One of the first things I did when meeting with a vendor at their office was to look around the room and see if any thank you notes were displayed. I always felt more at ease when I saw some, because it meant that another bride valued this vendor’s services enough to take the time to write a little note of appreciation.
I realize that this logic might be flawed. There are lots of vendors out there who might not think to share these little love notes. But you should! What your happiest brides have to say is just as important as your best sales pitch.
So, how do you make brides happy enough to sit down and write that thank you or post a shimmering review online (and let’s face it, it’s the bride who is going to be writing it)? Well, you’re going to have to dive into the dark and scary mind of a bride.
What do brides want?
Believe it or not, this is an easy one. Just about every bride you come in contact with wants to feel like the most important woman in the world. Some may be more shy about it than others. In fact, some might straight up insist it isn’t true.
But let’s get serious. If these ladies did not want to feel like Queen of the World for a day, they would have hopped on over to Town Hall and called it a day—no matter what grandma had to say. Instead, most of the women you deal with have invited a couple hundred of their closest friends and family members to watch them walk down an aisle in a dress that cost enough to feed a few third world villages.
These ladies want attention!
How do you give a bride what she wants?
- You need to make sure each of your brides feel like they’re the only client you have. Don’t talk about other couples who have weddings coming up (hello, she doesn’t want to think you might be distracted!). Instead, only bring up past couples when a story about them illuminates why your bride should knock one of her concerns right off her list.
- Check up on her. Don’t get all stalker-like and contact her weekly, but don’t fall off the face of the earth either. A bride wants to feel like her wedding is at the top of your priority list. Shoot her emails periodically to check in on details and make sure she doesn’t have any questions or concerns.
- Make sure any uneasiness is dealt with in advance. If there is something she seems unsure of or if there are details that need to be ironed out, make sure they’re dealt with before the actual wedding day. If you are the vendor that somehow stresses her out on Her Day, she will not only remember it, but she will tell everyone she knows for the rest of her life (trust me. My sister’s wedding featured the Great Flower Debacle, which has resulted in her launching into irate rants on the size of sunflowers just about every time her wedding is brought up).
- Give her a small gift. You don’t have to spend a lot of money. If you’re a DJ, it could be a CD of some of the songs that really got her crowd moving. If you’re a photographer, you could slip her an engagement shot and a sweet note before her ceremony. The gift itself is way less important than the idea that you thought to give her one. Something like this will stick with her long after the confetti is cleaned off the tabletops and the ink has dried on their marriage license. She will think of you fondly because of it and she’ll spread her warm thoughts on you and your business to all of her friends.
It might sound a little too easy, but if you make your bride feel like the most important person in the universe, she will become your biggest fan. Which means she will sing your praises as she relentlessly retells the story of her wedding day over and over and over again to all her friends (and your potential future clients).
Jennifer Garry is a writer (with a sparkly new blog!) who lives in Westchester, NY with her husband and two daughters. When she’s not up to her ears in kiddie crafts and spit up, she’s plotting her next move (children’s book? event planning? jewelry empire?). Her obsessions include tea, chocolate, sarcasm and her daughters’ giggles—any of which can be used to coax her from whatever project she’s currently engrossed in.