Party and event
Eventology: Inside the mind of a bride
By Michelle Nicol, CERP
By Michelle Nicol, CERP
On Sept. 25 last year, one-and-a-half years of hard work and planning for my own wedding paid off, and I married the love of my life!
Being in the event industry for as long as I have, I knew I would be planning my own wedding and I was excited at the opportunity to be able to work with so many of my amazing colleagues in the event industry. Along the way, I learned many things from an end-user’s point of view, and with this personal insight I am now able to offer a unique and personalized service to my customers.
We all assume when a couple approaches us to quote their wedding, they are solely looking for the most inexpensive quote, right? Wrong! There were so many factors that went into deciding who I wanted to be part of one of the biggest days of my life that went beyond the buck. To me, it was most important to work with companies that were reliable, punctual, quick to reply, clearly valued my business, seemed well connected and were able to make recommendations. It was also important to find companies that took time with me without rushing and were able to show their experience with photos, reviews and suggestions. With so many things coming and going while planning your own wedding, it is such a joy to be able to work with an experienced and professional vendor whom you can fully trust to deliver what you agreed upon. This is so much more important than just cost and it is up to the vendor to make this known to the client. The saying, “You get what you pay for,” reigns true.
One of the main things I learned from a customer point of view is how each vendor made me feel. Did they take the time to go through the details with me, or did they just assume that I knew them already? Did they go above and beyond and make suggestions, and did they have my event’s best interests in mind, or where they just looking to close the sale? Each vendor we selected treated me like a person and as if my event was their top priority. This is how we should be treating each client, big or small. Word-of-mouth is a huge source of free advertising that we do not want to lose out on, and brides are happy to share their experiences in event groups, Facebook pages and review sources if you give them this personalized experience.
The caterer we selected knew I was vegetarian and at our tasting prepared separate meals for us to try. After the ceremony and photos, my new husband and I took some time to ourselves and we were pleasantly surprised to find the caterer had saved us a few of our delicious appetizers to nibble on before dinner. It’s these little details that are so important and often forgotten about. What little things can you offer to your client that will make a lasting impression and make you stand apart from the rest? Do you follow up with your clients after their event? There is nothing more special than a handwritten note or quick email asking how everything went. This is also a great time to ask for photos that you can share on social media.
Lastly, one of the best decisions we made for our wedding was to hire a day-of coordinator. I knew that I did not want to be working on my wedding day and if I did not have someone there to oversee the entire day, I would be. This is something I am going to suggest to all my clients going forward. For a small fee, the peace of mind the coordinator provided was priceless. I was able to fully enjoy the day and not worry about any issues, late deliveries or problems. Being able to recommend these types of services to your client will show your experience, professionalism and that you have their best interests in mind.
This also offers you an opportunity to foster relationships with other vendors to refer clients. This could be for caterers, DJs, entertainment, transportation, hotels, venues, florists, decor companies and so much more. The more we can offer our clients, the happier our clients will be.
And happy client equals happy business!
Michelle Nicol is account manager and festival specialist at Higgins Event Rentals