September 19, 2023
Is anyone else wondering where summer went?! As the wedding season comes to an end (seriously – only one month left!), I’ve been reflecting on the incredible year I’ve had so far (and also thinking about what wedding pros should do now to get ready for engagement season – myself included). Seriously, before I share the six things I recommend doing before engagement season starts, I want to just say this. This wedding season has been one of my favorites yet and I am so grateful for the incredible couples I’ve had a chance to work with this year (stay tuned over on Instagram as I start to get more of the photos back!). I swear this career of mine gets better every year!
In case you are new to the wedding industry (welcome!), let’s talk about what engagement season actually is. Engagement season is the period of time from the beginning of November all through the end of February when a majority of couples become engaged. This means that they are making decisions about what vendors to hire, how much they want to spend on different aspects of their wedding, and where/when they want to get married. If you are a wedding pro – this is often the season when you will book a majority of your couples! These are the months that make sure you have the best wedding season ever!
Now, if you want to make 2024 your best wedding season yet, let’s jump into the six things you should do now to get ready for engagement season.
It’s easy to overlook the basics, and that can make a huge difference when it comes to getting customers during the busiest booking seasons. One of the most important things you should do before a busy booking season is check that your contact form is working. Even if it was working perfectly yesterday, double-check today; technology can surprise us at the worst moments. Automations are especially vulnerable; make sure they’re running as expected and all information is being routed correctly. It’s common knowledge that couples tend to prefer vendors with quick responses – in fact, in one study up to 50% of couples book the vendor that responds first. Double check your form now and this way you’ll never miss any inquiries during the busiest times of year!
Do you ask every single couple you work with for a review and photos? Ideally, you’ll have a process where you can do this while offboarding couples, but if you don’t have this in place yet then now is a good time to check in. However, at least once a year (and ideally before engagement season), you’ll want to take time to check in with clients that you have worked with this year and ask for reviews and photos from their wedding day if you haven’t already.
Are you guilty of not updating your portfolio often? I’m raising my hand right there with you (although I’m really trying to get better). Most of us share sweet reviews and our latest wedding photos over on Instagram, but the truth is that I think most of us are neglecting to give our website and marketing collateral (like your pricing brochure) the same attention. By featuring client reviews, photos, and stories on your website and marketing collateral, you can show potential clients what a great experience they will have with you. Plus, who doesn’t love to be featured?! Your previous couples will be thrilled if you feature them!
It might surprise you given that calligraphy is creative work, but I am big into having systems and templates for my work. It keeps me sane (and better yet – helps me ENJOY my time off knowing that I’m less likely to drop the ball on something). And before engagement season gets here, there is at least one template I want you to set up (or update): the email template you use to respond to new inquiries.
Take time to craft a thoughtful response that is personalized so it doesn’t come across as too generic. Make sure your contact information is clear and concise within the message, and double check for any typos! It’s important to put your best foot forward when clients are reaching out to you for services. You want them to feel welcomed, respected, and get an overall feeling that you are the right fit for their needs. Ask yourself questions like: What tone do I want to keep? How can I add value in this response? Is there anything else they should know about me or my services?
We talked about images in step three, but chances are, that’s not the only thing that needs an update! It’s important to have a service brochure or pricing guide to send new inquiries so they can get an idea of what services you offer, as well as your rates. Is it time to raise your prices? Make sure that all the information is accurate and up-to-date so clients can easily understand what they can expect when hiring you! You may also want to check out this post on the secret to delivering a better customer experience and making more money as a wedding pro.
Last but definitely not least, it’s important to review your client workflow. I told you I’m a systems person! Take a look at what processes you already have in place and identify any gaps. Is there anything missing from the onboarding process? Could you be more organized when collecting payments? Do you need to set up new systems for communication or scheduling? If you are new to the wedding industry, you may want to consider hiring someone as a mentor or systems expert to help you set these things up. Trust me – having a solid workflow will become invaluable when a busy engagement season hits! Reach out here to learn more about working with me!
To sum up, the transition from wedding season to engagement season is the perfect time for professionals in the wedding industry to recalibrate, refresh, and renew their approach. Most engagements happen between November and February, so it’s the perfect time to double check you have everything in top shape. From making sure contact forms are working flawlessly to incorporating client feedback and photos into our marketing strategies, every little detail matters. We need to stay ahead in this competitive field by organizing ourselves, personalizing our interactions, updating our offerings, and perfecting the entire client experience workflow. Remember, success in the wedding industry is all about building relationships and making every couple feel valued and understood. As engagement season approaches, let’s give our absolute best to create unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime! I will be cheering you on as you do!