5 Things Brides Consider When Choosing Vendors & It's Not Price


Wedding Professionals:

I wrote about this topic back in 2009 when the economy was absolutely horrible and many wedding businesses were wondering how to get back on their feet.  Since times have changed a bit, I thought this topic was worth revisiting.  The factors that brides consider when choosing vendors have not entirely changed - but I believe more emphasis is place on some factors versus others. 

We are usually quick to assume that price is the main factor for brides as they plan their wedding. Yes, price is important but there are other factors that are just as influential.  I came to this conclusion after reading Lee Eisenberg’s ‘Why Shopping is Good Again.’ I personally believe that these five values can also help all of us to understand what brides are thinking as they are making their purchasing decisions in the year 2012...

  1. Brides value experiences that transform them. Even some of the shyest women embrace the spotlight on their big day. As a bride plans her wedding, she is more commonly thinking about her own personal ‘red carpet’ moment. That is the moment when everyone at her wedding will look at her in astonishment. Various vendors have picked up on this common value or mindset. What additional services can you add to your current offering in order to make brides feel special and transformed?
  2. Brides value shared experiences. As the economy changed over the last few years, brides began to place more value on family, friendships and relationships in general. We’ve been forced to focus on the things that are really important in life – and that’s not a bad thing.  In some cases, guest lists have had to shrink and brides have had to focus on the elements that matter most to their loved ones. But behind all of that, weddings have become more intimate. What can you do to add to that intimate, meaningful experience to a bride’s big day?
  3. Brides value experiences that are an extension of themselves. It’s no wonder that many brides are now into DIY (Do-It-Yourself) elements. They are creating their own menus, programs, favors – you name it. We tend to think this is only to save money. However, they are also doing this to put their stamp on their big day - to make it personal. Thinking beyond price and thinking deeper about the personal nature of a DIY wedding, how can you make your products and services more personalized?
  4. NEW! Brides value things that are beautiful.  Especially given the fact that 2012 is a year when one of the biggest trends is that weddings will be romantic and pretty.  And they will think that you will deliver a service with these qualities IF your website, portfolio and various marketing materials are also beautiful.  Sometimes it is hard for us to judge that for ourselves.  Ask your friends and family if your website is beautiful.
  5. NEW! Brides choose vendors that they connect with on a personal level. With hundreds of vendors to choose from, brides are more likely to choose vendors that they believe they will get along with.  After all - if they choose you, you'll be spending an entire day together.  The key is to make a great first impression, establish a good rapport and build trust.  What will you do during your initial conversations to establish that strong connection?  In addition, consider adding testimonials to your website to establish greater trust.

Position your wedding offerings, so that they are in line with the values of today’s bride. Ultimately, this will help ensure that brides say ‘yes’ to you. Do you have other insights about what values influence a bride’s planning decision? If so, please comment below.

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About This Blog: Christine Dyer is the Creator and Founder of BridalTweet. Christine has an MBA in marketing and shares over twelve years of marketing expertise with the wedding community. In this weekly blog, you'll find advice on an array of wedding business topics such as how to market to brides, social networking, wedding PR, wedding sales, vendor networking, branding, pricing and much more. Please pass this news along to your own professional wedding network. To receive this advice in your email inbox each week, Sign Up for a Free BridalTweet Membership.

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Comment by Carol Lockhart on January 17, 2012 at 11:47am

Excellent information.  We work hard to try and connect personally with brides/prospects.  We are finding that the persoanl touch overcomes the "price shopper" almost every time!

Comment by Beautiful Brides Philly on January 17, 2012 at 1:24pm

Great information! I have always found that my one-on-one initial communications with brides is often key to booking. I find my competitors often miss the mark in this area!

Comment by Tracy Adams on January 17, 2012 at 1:45pm

I think most of us can agree that once we get a Bride in front of us, selling her is not the issue.  We can be charming, charismatic and the like at the meeting, but getting the meeting is the challenge I'm facing.  If they call to price shop, how do you skirt that issue until you can get them in front of you?  There's only so much dancing around price one can do before totally sending a Bride the other way.  Great info to help us focus our efforts and know what's really important to Brides besides the all mighty dollar!

Comment by Jonette Jordan on January 18, 2012 at 9:10am

Thank you for revisiting this topic, Christine.  Number 1 is great food for thought!


@Tracy I find that establishing trust in my initial response to a bride's inquiry helps to book that consultation.  I don't try to sell her anything.  I'm just another woman to whom she's talking about her wedding.  That means I first find a way to connect with her as it relates to the information she sent me, as if I'm one of her girlfriends.  Then I try to help her, as a girlfriend would.  If someone just got engaged, they're likely overwhelmed or frantic.  I give them helpful information about how to ground themselves during the planning process, as a girlfriend would.  There's stuff in between, but you get the gist.  Giving a bride free advice is an excellent way to establish trust, booking the consultation and thus, booking the wedding.  Just my two cents:)

Comment by Reel Life Photos on January 19, 2012 at 5:27pm

Very good points, all of you, particularly Jonette's reply to Tracy! It also helps to keep in touch with former wedding clients, as over the years they will still remember you and often the friend who is getting married this year.next year, is your potential next bride to be, so long as they know where you are and you are still uppermost in their mind.  I have just been booked for a wedding in Pakistan, as touched base several times over the years since the sister's wedding in 2003, and now its the brother's turn...  Most of my social circle now comprises former brides and grooms too! xx

Comment by Reel Life Photos on January 19, 2012 at 5:30pm

PS We also offer a free print for any great grandmothers present at the wedding, so try to get a good "Generation" shot of each line down through the ages, to show our respect and care for their family. xx

Comment by Michelle To on January 22, 2012 at 4:57pm

Very informative, thank you.

Comment by Beverly Gottfried on January 31, 2012 at 1:25pm

Christine, Thank you for putting into words what I have gravitated to in my discussions with brides and grooms.  Making this day one that reflects who they are as a couple, what their interests are, not a cookie cutter wedding like those of us who got married 43 years ago had.  Not that they were bad,or even ugly,  they just didn't have specific personalities... I love each wedding now because of those personalities being exhibited!!!  Lawn games, somores as an after-the-reception treat for instance.... who would have imagined that when I got married so many years ago ?

Comment by David Medina on June 18, 2012 at 12:17pm
Totally agree. Our experience validates what you are saying. This has been why we are thriving spite of this economy .
Comment by Alan McKenzie on July 9, 2012 at 1:37pm

I whole heartedly agree!  If you cannot connect with brides, then they SHOULD NOT hire you and you SHOULD NOT work for them.  It might be hard to turn down paying clients, but a happy client is better than one that's just going to feel 'so-so' about you or your company.

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