With booking season well underway, we thought it would be a great time to hear how planners onboard new brides and kick off the planning process. So, we posed that question to our expert community of professional wedding planners to find out how they welcome their new couples to their process, tools, workflow, and wedding planning family!
“After they sign on the dotted line, our first step is to invite our couples to join us on a video call where we set up their wedding account live and walk them through everything Aisle Planner has to offer. This typically takes an hour and we take them from the Checklist to the Notes sections, describing in detail how we manage each of the elements and what we need their assistance on. Everyone gets really excited over the Design Studio, where we help them import some of their favourite inspiration and watch their eyes light up when they see the colour palettes pop up after a picture uploads. The Checklist typically either overwhelms the couple, at which point we get to reassure them that we’re here to help manage the craziness, or they get really excited to finally have some focus. We typically ask them not to touch the Timeline or the Budget at all as they require our expertise, but they are free to utilize every other element in the program. Everyone really loves the email reminders for appointments and tasks, and 100% of our couples think Aisle Planner is the best tool they ever could have had organize their wedding day – with our assistance and expertise, of course!”
– Brittany of Satin and Snow
“No matter how many years you have been in business, it is always exciting and an enormous honor when a client decides to trust you, as their wedding planner, to seamlessly execute one of the most important days of their life.
Once you have on-boarded your client into AislePlanner, what’s next? How do you get off on the right footing so you can make a great first impression as their planner? The best thing to do is to make sure they have everything they need to get started. Send a welcome email to your new clients that gives them a rundown of how the first month will go. All clients like to know in advance what to expect. You should also include your Preferred Vendors List so your clients can begin selecting professionals that are pre-approved by you. They will also need a wedding planning checklist in order for them to stay on track and keep organized. When teaching The Bridal Society’s Wedding Planning Certification Conference, I encourage our planners/members to send valuable tips when it comes to planning their weddings successfully. These tips include DOs and DON’Ts when it comes to their design, seating chart, invitation wording, and more. I also suggest a “What’s In and What’s Out” page so that our clients know what direction to go in and what direction to steer away from.
The best advice I can give is to make sure you have stellar communication with your new clients throughout the planning process. Keep them informed and well educated in their role in having a successful event, and give them very clear guidelines as to how you, their wedding planner, will help them along the way.”
– Laurie of The Bridal Society
Once all of this is set then I have a training meeting with the bride and groom (no friends or family at this meeting). This can be as quick as 30 minutes and up to a little over an hour depending on how the client adapts to the system. I use the “Sample” wedding to let them work on imputing info and making changes so they are not worried they are going to make a mistake. Working through steps by explaining the directions as they complete the actual step allows them the hands on time to get comfortable before working in their own AP account. It is important to make plenty of time so that they don’t feel rushed. Taking time now means that they will be comfortable using AP as a tool instead of falling back to basic emails and asking you as the planner to transfer every detail for them – which just doubles the work as it is just as easy for the client to load a new picture to the design studio as it is for them to email it to you.
After this meeting I wait 2 days and follow up and ask what they like about the system and if they have any questions. We discuss the timeline in further detail and then I schedule our regular follow up meetings depending on the level of assistance they have requested (these are not vendor meetings these are the milestone meetings that have specific vital deadlines). I check in on their progress often and as they complete each “milestone” goal we have a little celebration – it can be as simple as a hand written note and a $10 card to a local coffee shop to take a mini-break. It is really important to me that they know I am here if they need help.
So, if I gave a quick take-away tip it would be – invest extra time in teaching the client about the system early on and follow up often to ensure they know you are still involved and available through the entire process.”
– Carol of A1 Wedding and Events