You’re taking your first steps into approaching the bridal market and putting your special space out there to host wedding celebrations – what do you need to know about your bridal couple? What are they thinking, what are they feeling and how do you best work with the modern couple? Read on to discover….
The Do’s & Don’ts of working successfully with wedding couples – understanding the unique psychology
Words by Kelly Chandler from Kelly Chandler Wedding Consulting
Weddings are all about detail and increasingly so in 2017. Almost all couples (irrespective of budget level) are looking to make their wedding celebration utterly unique and tell their own personal story within the most relevant setting to them and with all of the details of their choosing. And they do choose the details – long gone are the days of a cookie cutter wedding with the limited options listed in a package!
The smart location therefore needs to make couples feel that that venue is theirs for the day, is as flexible as possible and is embracing of each couple’s journey and is excited and privileged to be the chosen host location. Couples will want to put their stamp on their day and will want to bring in (or have access to) items which appeal to their style or theme.
There is often an element of subtle (or less subtle) competition amongst family members and friendship groups to host the best wedding; fortunately “best” these days is a lot more open to interpretation and is far less conventional and formula driven, but couples are most definitely looking for quirky additions, fun entertainment options, impressive décor and styling and usually laid-back, romantic and warm-hearted ways of celebrating their romance with those closest to them.
The more that you can inspire them from the outset that you understand and can deliver some of their ideas and visions, then so much the better. Whilst it’s easier than ever for us to find products and services these days, actually with technology being what it is there is an expectation to be actually shown in advance what you are getting as a customer and venues and spaces, as one of the very earliest and most key wedding decisions, have a duty to inspire and show the possibilities – images are really key to this and putting across YOUR story from your entry here on Space & Rock and in any other marketing collateral you are using, be it website, blog and social media, is very important.
Another key point which takes time and needs to be factored in with your approach is that your client is not an events professional. They have almost zero understanding of the running of a venue or property or the planning of a personal event of this scale. That can make them potentially a difficult client but also potentially an easy one if managed well. Even if you don’t feel like the expert as a new start up wedding location, you need to help them with working through how to plan their event. Whilst you shouldn’t be too prescriptive and formula-led (that’s after all why couples are seeking unique Space and Rock style locations) you don’t want to leave them worried about how they will pull their event together. Key to this is for you have some really great recommended suppliers who you’ve built relationships with and you can refer them to for the key elements of their wedding planning. This is particularly important for the likes of catering and tent structures, the bigger components of any wedding.
Really think through some different ways couples way want to use your space with ideas on layouts or marquee/tent positioning for example, so that they can feel reassured of what the options can be, but feel able to move away from this too if that suits better.
Be aware that this is a highly charged time for many couples and their families. A big change in their life is happening and this can sometimes mean they are slow in decisions or fearful in decisions. Often they can procrastinate on decision making as they want to ensure their choice is perfect; this can also mean bringing in other decision makers.
Do be aware that today’s wedding couples are more likely than not Millennials (born between 1979 and 2000) and this age group are known for their need to collaborate, for their belief in the importance of team work and team decisions; this very much filters through to wedding planning where it’s increasingly usual for venue visits to be family affairs and multiple visits might be needed. You will need to be very patient and understanding! I say this nicely, but working with bridal couples really is not for everyone!
Approach activity in your marketing with a long term view – quick fixes and quick offers don’t really work in my experience in the wedding market and couples seek stability, reliability, service and a personal connection and that “just right” feeling when they choose your space. It’s as much about you as the people as the place and space as well. They are entrusting a lifetime of memories to you after all and do need to be given the space to consider their options. This said, demonstrating your interest in them choosing your special place is key, so a friendly follow up post show-round visit and/or post initial enquiry is highly recommended. Do remember we all have busy inboxes, your couples are most likely juggling busy careers and social lives and possibly children too, so keeping in touch is encouraged!
I hope that the above is a useful starting point as to understanding your new client base – there is lots more to tell and I look forward to returning soon with more insight into the wedding industry and how you can find your best place in it.
– Kelly Chandler, Kelly Chandler Wedding Consulting
Photography thanks to Enchanted Brides
About Kelly Chandler
Kelly has a wealth of specialist wedding industry experience having spent 14 years leading her award-winning independent wedding planning company (The Bespoke Wedding Company) and working very closely with and on behalf of discerning global couples to plan their unique UK-based weddings. Kelly now specialises in helping wedding spaces to put their very best foot forward in the modern wedding market via a range of specialist consulting and training services.
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