I think that as a new wedding planner in my area, my struggles and approaches to things have to be a bit different than businesses that are already established. I want to talk with other new wedding vendors and hear how you all are facing issues:
- How to build relationships with other vendors in the area if we haven't had the chance to work with them on a wedding?
- Should we advertisie in the same places as the other vendors in the area?
- How do we price ourselves to show that we are new without being seen as "undercutting"
If you have any answers to these questions or would like to pose your own questions for new businesses please share.

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I think networking is key. As a photographer I am drawn to vendors who are professional but friendly and engaging. Those are the vendors I refer to Brides.
I think as a planner if you extend your hand to help make the day smooth for the other vendors you are working with you can get referrals. I know some really sucessful wedding professionals who say they have made it by networking and referrals alone. I am not too sure about that ...
Blogging and sites like this one are great because they reveal more about you than an ad alone.
If you have the chance to advertise on a site where you are also featured in the blog that's great.

We are in a market that is saturated BUT if you find your niche you can do well.
What is it about what you offer that should make a Bride choose you instead of someone else ?
Don't let it be just becuase your price is lower.
Make sure you do something to separate yourself from the crowd
Well, i want to add my 2 cents here. I'll see if you agree or not.
Advertising is a must, there is no doubts about it, period. What might hold you back, is the product that you're offering. Why will i go to you? What is that you have that no one else does? Uniqueness is the key. I know, i know, it's hard to be unique and creative, especially when you do what everyone else in the business does. You have to come up with a "style" and go with it, if that doesn't work, find something new and run it by. Challenge yourself and those who might be your potential clients. Word of mouth is the best way to advertise, that's not a rocket science.
Economy has us all down, i find it hard to get any business because everyone looking to save money, anywhere you go. Offer a "Freebie" or something nice that might be beneficial to those who would consider your service.
I would love to network with people in my area, it will take few years before you can get yourself up and somewhat decent. Just stick with it, and never give up, don't let anyone discourage you, and don't compare yourself to others. You have something they don't and it's up to you to define what it is.
Best of luck! :o)
Marina
I am a wedding planner, in business under a year; however I am also a collegiate corporate planner so I have developed many contacts in the area for that side of my career. Relationship building is all about meeting people, communicating your message, and building trust. It does take time. You just have to be patient. Advertising and creating visibility of your business is important. Yes, you should advertise in the same places as other vendors; competition is a fact of life - but also, brides/couples want to have options. They will go with whomever they feel they can trust, who communicates the best message, and who can deliver on what they promise. Pricing should be whatever you need to do the job without losing money. I hope this helps. Connie
someone gave me a lot of tips on relationship building. they said as old fashioned as it may be... cold calls... look for vendors in the area that you might be able to partner with then call and introduce yourself. it works. building a base of give and take relationships will help you a lot.

and why not advertise in the same places, and find new ones too. advertise everywhere you can. it can't really hurt your business to advertise. it can only help it. there are a lot of free places to advertise and then i would just do some good research on what you would want to really invest your money in. ask around to other vendors (i.e. the vendors you cold call and befriend)

as far as pricing goes, another friend told me to let the work speak for itself and choose a price that is fair to you and what you do even if that seems less than others. for now we are pretty low in our prices but they are fair to us for our work, and for us starting out. figure out your base and your profit margin and do the math. you're price is your choice.
I am reading alot of blogs about "newbies" undercutting with prices and it seems to be giving us all a bad name. This is one area where I am really struggling right now... I am not sure what to charge that is fair because i am a "newbie" with little experiance, but do not want other planners in my area to feel I am purposely "undercutting" them just to get business.

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