As a wood florist, there are few better feelings than booking a wedding. Doing so means that a client is so enamored with your work that they are trusting you with the headline decor for one of the most important days of their lives. Plus, you’ll get the opportunity to show off a wide array of your products (bouquets, corsages, and centerpieces, etc.), you’ll gain exposure with attendees who may be planning their own weddings soon, and let’s not forget – the pay day isn’t so bad either.
But – before you can get to all that good stuff, there is a lot of planning and work to do to even book those clients. You got this! Today I’ll walk you through one of our preferred methods of wedding planning as a vendor with a potential client. In fact, this will be the first in a series of wedding vendor-related topics. So if this category is of interest – stay tuned!
A wedding consultation may be your first face-to-face interaction with your hopefully soon-to-be clients (Zoom video calls are a great option as well if in person isn’t feasible!). But what should you be asking the couple and what might they be asking you?! We will break that down now.
To start, we suggest taking a look at the worksheet created by Katie Wood over at Heart & Sola Coaching. Whether you’re a new or veteran wedding vendor, her worksheet is sure to have a comprehensive walkthrough of everything you will need to know to create the wedding of your clients’ dreams. If you have had email conversations up to this point or they have filled out an inquiry form, take some time to fill in any of the information you know before the consult - couples names, colors, number of attendants - this may all change during your consultation but it is a good starting point!
Here are some topline pointers to host a successful consultation!
Remember: There’s No Such Thing As A Traditional Wedding Anymore
Gone are the exclusive days of a bride and groom walking out of a big, beautiful church. Those weddings definitely still exist! But these days, there’s room for all kinds of celebrations: two brides, two grooms, city hall, beaches, and the like. In fact, my wedding was held in front of a barn just one hundred feet away from a bunch of horses. Instead of a maid of honor, my brother was my man of honor! There is seriously no playbook anymore. It’s all up to the creative vision of your couples, and up to you to creatively execute.
This is all to say that any weddings you plan will require two things:
- A careful respect for language. Don’t assume anything about a couples’ situation!
- The flexibility to adapt your offerings for any number of settings (think bridesmaid hoops or a boutonniere for the best woman)
Following the above will help you become THE stand out vendor of the day!
- Let the couple know that this call or meeting will be XX amount of minutes or hours. My sweet spot tends to be 30 minutes to one hour for these initial meetings.
- Give the couple a preview of what will be discussed during the consultation. When scheduling the time, a simple message can help them to prepare for the information you will need: “As a reminder, we will be chatting about your wedding day florals on this call! Feel free to send over any inspiration photos and start thinking about who you would like to have special flowers for your big day!”
- Unless you have set prices for your products and the style or flower selection does not change those prices, tell the couple that you will be able to provide a full price quote for their florals AFTER the consult.
What Do You Say When They Still Ask About Price?
This one is tricky: obviously you don’t want to promise an exact price without knowing the full scope of everything ahead of time. But some couples will want to know right away your services are within their financial means.
Here’s what we recommend:
- Put the question back to them. Ask them for their budget or what they would ideally like to spend on their wedding florals.
- Remind customers that with sola wood flowers, they have a high degree of flexibility. Luxe flowers will add cost. Specific styles will add cost by way of your labor (ie - if you need to hand paint or airbrush flowers). You can add or subtract costs based on their preferences!
- You can give them a ballpark idea, but make sure it’s abundantly clear that it is a ballpark, nothing more. Keep it verbal if at all possible. Let them know that your quote is only concrete when it’s in writing and signed by both parties
Wedding planning can be stressful for couples so the best way to keep the conversation light and happy is to remind them of their love for one another. Kick off the meeting asking them how long they have been together or how they got engaged. Lead the conversation but be truly present and listen to what they are saying about their wedding vibe. Make suggestions based on their inspiration but cater them to who they are as a couple. And most importantly, you should be conveying your excitement for their wedding! A couple is much more likely to book a vendor they feel a connection with.
This is, of course, scratching the surface. There is plenty to learn. Follow the steps we’ve outlined above to get started. Definitely visit Heart & Sola Coaching if you want any one-on-one advice. And reach out to us with any specific questions!
Stay tuned for more wedding vendor-related content soon. Until then, good luck designing and booking!