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3 Costly Mistakes Wedding Vendors Make (and How to Avoid Them Forever)

For brides and grooms, choosing a wedding vendor is like speed dating – there’s a lot to process in a short time, and hopefuls won’t get a call back if they fail to impress on the first try. What’s a vendor to do, then? Make an impact and the couples you’re courting will flock to you.

Engaged couples are busy, selective, and often scatterbrained. They’re hunting for DJs, decorations, wedding favors, officiants, cakes, and everything in between. They don’t have time to analyze every word on your website to find out if you’d be a good fit for them, and they’re certainly not going to contact you if they don’t like what they see right off the bat. I know that’s not exactly fair, but it’s true.

And guess what? If they can’t find what they need on your website, they’re not going to wait around for you to provide answers they need. They’ll assume you don’t care and then jet over to your competitors’ sites instead.

Not cool, I know. But it happens! I’ve been there as a bride-to-be.

As promised, here are 3 unfortunate mistakes wedding vendors make, and what you can do to avoid them (while sealing your fate as the crème de la crème of your industry):

Mistake #1: Your website is outdated and offers little information.

I couldn't find your Contact page, so I'll just hold this sign until you find me!

I couldn't find your Contact page, so I'll just hold this sign until you find me!

Don’t be shy – be honest and transparent on your website. You won’t win anyone over with vague website content! As a vendor, you need to make it clear to potential customers that you’re the best option for their wedding. Display your pricing where users can see it, and update it as soon as it changes (brides look for that stuff). Also, clearly outline the products and services you offer and have a FAQ section so couples have a point of reference (and so you don’t have to answer the same 4 questions over and over again).

Ask yourself: “If I visited this site for the first time, would I be able to find everything I need?” If the answer isn’t a strong YES, then you have some re-evaluating to do.

Also, scout for any clunky navigation that could hinder users’ experience with your site. You should have a fully functional website with concise information. You don’t have to spend a gazillion bucks on a design; it’s okay if the layout is on the simple side. Functionality and transparency are the most important details!

Mistake #2: You have an inactive (or nonexistent) social media presence.

If you want to attract more brides and grooms, then frequently update your Facebook and Twitter accounts – at least twice a week – and sign up for email notifications so you’ll immediately know when a new lead pops up in the form of an @mention or a wall post (you can tweak this in your settings). That way, you won’t have to constantly monitor the accounts for questions because the notifications will do it for you

BONUS: set up an account with a service like Buffer so your account will be active and personal without spending hours on it each week!

Twitter, huh? Couples don't use that kind of stuff, do they?

Twitter, huh? Couples don't use that kind of stuff, do they?

If you don’t have Facebook or Twitter accounts for your company, then go get them now. Seriously, I’ll wait. Forget what you may have read about Twitter supposedly fizzling out, and put aside your “I’m a rebel and refuse to get a Facebook” attitude. The truth is, engaged couples use social media and email to plan their weddings now more than ever before, and as a vendor, you’re only hurting yourself by holding out on creating accounts there.

What are the perks of having a social media presence?

First of all, you can use it to quickly answer questions that brides or grooms may have. Not only will this address their concerns, but it will make the conversation public so that other potential customers can see it – instant content for your brand. Second of all, it humanizes your company. There’s a plethora of wedding vendors out there, and you’d be surprised how anti-social some of them are! Show clients that you want to interact with them and answer their questions, and you’ll stand out. Third, you can share your blog posts and testimonial pictures on Facebook for an extra boost in traffic and engagement. Or, use Twitter to share articles and content that’s relevant to your audience’s interests.

In other words, make it easy for them to trust you. Would you put your wedding in the hands of a company you don’t fully trust? Would you open your wallet to them? I wouldn’t, and neither would your audience!

P.S.  Don’t forget to clearly display your Facebook and Twitter icons on your website so couples can find you easily.

Mistake #3: You’re all “tell” and no “show.

We’re not in kindergarten anymore, but you still have to remember that showing and telling go together! This point dives a bit deeper into humanizing your brand and showing your trustworthiness. It’s one thing to talk about how awesome your company is, but it’s quite another to actually show people how awesome it is. In addition to the website tips I mentioned earlier, also include an “About Us” page with pictures of employees, a “Testimonials” page for satisfied customer feedback, a page that features real pictures of work you’ve completed, and even a “Contact Us” page with a simple contact form (you should respond to inquiries quickly).

And then...you will buy from me. Because I'm the best. Trust me!

And then...you will buy from me. Because I'm the best. Trust me!

All of these things SHOW customers that you’re: A) a legitimate company –with real employees – that isn’t out to scam them; B) established and experienced in the industry; C) proud of the work you’ve done; and D) anxious to hear from them.

I’d be psyched to work with you if your company oozed confidence like that!

By the way, this mistake carries over into in-person interactions as well, whether you attend bridal expos or set up individual couple interviews. Whatever you do, do NOT spend an entire conversation bragging about other weddings you’ve worked on or trying to upsell a new service. Use the precious minutes you have to ask open-ended questions about the couple’s needs and then address them as best you can. Couples will be more likely to trust you if they feel like you’re there to help them with products or services tailored to their needs! No one wants to listen to a long-winded pitch, especially if the vendor didn’t take the time to listen first.

Last-Minute Tips…

Once you have a good website, social accounts, and testimonials clearly posted, then it’s time to ask yourself some questions. (Sorry, you’re not done yet!)

Find out if brides and grooms-to-be will be interested in you by asking:

  • What makes you different?
  • Why should brides and grooms trust you?
  • Are you making the process as easy as possible?

Use the answers to highlight standout features about your company and fix what’s lacking! If you’re the only one in the industry offering free consultations, then play that up. If you pride yourself on responding to inquiries at lightning speed, then let your site visitors know that first thing. And, to further test your website for usability, ask an unbiased person to take a look for you. There may be things you’ve missed.

Truth be told, I would have relished the opportunity to exclusively work with vendors that fixed these errors and acted like they gave a damn about my wedding. Instead, I ended up settling on a few who gave me the run around, took forever to respond to my questions, and acted like I was bothering them when they finally did answer. You’re better than that, right? Time to prove it!

Are you doing everything you can to get noticed by brides and grooms, or are you driving them away? I’m sure you’re very sweet, but no one will see that if you hide behind a terrible website and make it impossible to contact you! What else could wedding vendors do to impress brides and grooms-to-be?

Image credit to Clipart.com.


Jill Tooley

Jill has been obsessed with words since her fingers could turn the pages of a book. She’s a hopeless bibliophile who recently purchased a Kindle after almost 6 years of radical opposition, and she loves stumbling upon new music on Pandora. Random interests include (but are not limited to) bookstores, movie memorabilia, and adorable rodents. Jill writes for the QLP blog and assists with the company’s social media accounts. You can connect with Jill on Google+.

Comments

  1. Cybernetic SAM

    hmmmm….. I certainly know a vendor who did exactly the opposite of this entire blog….. hmmmm….. Great Post! ;)

  2. Jen

    Nice post Jill, and as a bride-to-be I look for the vendors with well thought out and informative websites. I’ve noticed, however, most companies wont give you pricing for their services on the sites because they want you to call or email them for the info. I can understand why they do it from a business perspective, but as a customer it’s highly annoying. If I’m looking at ten different venues to hold my wedding reception, I don’t want to call each one or wait a week for them to send me a PDF of their menu and prices. I want info then and there, so I’m not wasting my time on something out of my price range.

    • Jill Tooley

      Yep, I can totally understand why they DON’T put prices up, but it’s a deterrent more than anything else because it’s a hassle to request a million different files. Even a price RANGE would work, but the majority of them don’t do anything of the sort! It’s frustrating…

      Thanks for the bride insights, Jen! :)

  3. Ness

    I got my wedding favors from QLP, and they turned out awesome! They hold up too — I got some 17 Oz. Nite-Glow Stadium Cups and they are not only still glowing after nearly two years, but the digital print is still vibrant and intact! :D

    • Jill Tooley

      Those are cool cups! Thanks for stopping by to comment, Ness! :D

  4. Rachel

    These are great tips for any kind of business. I especially like your first point about keeping the website updated — a website is basically a virtual storefront, so if I’m not impressed by it, it’s going to be hard to get me interested in anything you sell. Websites can be a lot of work to maintain, but it’s totally worth it in the end.

    Awesome post, Jill!

    • Jill Tooley

      Thanks, Rachel! I hate to keep harping on website transparency, but it’s SO important for companies to have. You wouldn’t believe how many wedding vendor websites lack pertinent information about their own businesses! What a major turn off.

  5. Mandy Kilinskis

    I’m not in the market for wedding-centric products or services, but if I ever am, I know that testimonials will be a huge draw for me. I want to see that other (real) people had a good experience so that I can trust you.

    • Jill Tooley

      Thank you, Mandy! Definitely check out the testimonials on everything — and don’t be afraid to thoroughly interview vendors before you sign contracts with them. You can never be too careful.

  6. Jeff Porretto

    My entire experience with my wedding vendors was telling my wife “whatever you want dear.” But I think even she knows that if I had to sit through JUST ONE long-winded sales pitch that the s was going to hit the fan. That’s my biggest retail pet peeve. I’m already talking to you because I’m interested, do we really have to hear the whole spiel??

    Excellent points made Jill!

  7. Eric

    FAQ sections are highly underrated. I think more companies could afford to utilize them, and – at the same time – more consumers could afford to read them prior to asking companies questions posted to an FAQ page. Most of the time, you’ll find what you’re looking for there, and if not, at least you’ll have good reason to contact the company…and in the process, maybe lead the way for new information to make it onto the FAQ’s!

    • Jill Tooley

      I agree! I go straight to the FAQ page if I’m confused and then head to the “contact us” if that doesn’t answer my question. It drives me crazy when sites don’t have one, because then it feels like I’m harassing them!

  8. Let’s Talk Money « « Smart Wedding Planning Smart Wedding Planning - Smart Wedding Planning

    [...] Curious if your current website could be losing you brides and money? Take a look at 3 Costly Mistakes Wedding Vendors Make (and How to Avoid Them Forever). [...]

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    [...] Curious if your current website could be losing you brides and money? Take a look at 3 Costly Mistakes Wedding Vendors Make (and How to Avoid Them Forever). [...]

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