Staying on top of #allthethings
“Engagement season” refers to the period of time each year when the most wedding proposals happen. In the United States, it runs from Thanksgiving (fourth Thursday of November) until Valentine’s Day. For many other locations, it starts just a few weeks later, going from around Christmas to Valentine’s Day.
The most popular days for engagements are currently Christmas day, Valentine’s day, New Year’s Eve, Christmas Eve, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s day – in that order.
Just like most good publicists will start prepping and pitching their clients’ Christmas campaigns in early Summer, wedding pros’ prep for engagement/proposal season should ideally already be underway. However, if you, like almost every wedding business owner, have been juggling a zillion things, the next best time to start is now.
For the month of October, I’m going to be mostly discussing the things you can do get your business ready so that yours can be the company they most love once the ring is on their finger.
Many wedding professionals have a monthly “admin day” – a day where they tackle every mundane task that needs to be done each month. This includes sending financial info to their CPA, writing the monthly rent check for their studio, catching up on filing, planning out their social media posts, etc. Other people opt to do this weekly to keep the monthly catch-up to a minimum.
Some to-do’s only need to be done about once a year and as such tend to fall in the “out of sight, out of mind” category. Because of this, they’re remembered once the engagement season inquiries start coming in, which of course is when many wedding professionals are busy with holiday parties and decor installations for their social and corporate clients.
Setting aside an admin day just for your once-a-year updates before you’re in the thick of the holiday season means you’ll be able to reply immediately to an inquiry and send your professionally branded up-to-date information right from the Dropbox app on your phone.
Three of the things you may want to update include:
Informational lookbooks or PDFs highlighting your process in greater detail with updated imagery and details for 2020.
Splendid Pro Tip: Never send a potential client an itemized list of what you offer on a boring white Word document with just your logo pasted at the top, especially if you’re trying to brand your company as stylish and detail-oriented (wedding planners, florists, photographers, etc).
If you aren’t great with graphic design, you can use a program like Canva to DIY a beautiful PDF or hire a professional designer to help keep your brand collateral consistent. There are tons of great graphic designers, but if you need one, Kelly Ashworth is my go-to.
A list of colleagues you trust and are happy to refer if you are already booked for that date or if the wedding isn’t a fit for some reason (budget, etc).
Splendid Pro Tip: If you are booked, busy, and #blessed for the date of an inquiry, always refer another wedding pro who may be able to help them. The best way is to send a customized referral, the second best is to have a beautifully branded PDF with the contact info of colleagues you trust to take care of them. Brides and grooms tend to remember who was helpful, and you may not have landed that particular wedding, but you will get positive word-of-mouth.
Any sales scripts you may use to help guide your conversations on the phone or via email. While these should always be customized and NOT canned auto-replies to inquiries, it can still be helpful to have the basic gist of what you’ll say saved in your Dropbox app so you can access it at any time.
Splendid Pro Tip: Automated and canned replies may help you feel more organized and efficient behind the scenes, but they make you look cold and uncaring. This is especially true if you work in the luxury wedding market. High-end means high-touch – you get paid more because you have to give more personal attention.
These are not glamorous things to work on, but administrative tasks rarely are. Once engagement season begins, you’ll be glad you knocked them off your to-do list ahead of time.