Anyone who’s been in the wedding industry for more than a minute knows that it takes a village to create a wedding, and you are only as strong as your weakest link. By knowing the ins and outs of your team members processes, you can create an event that seamlessly flows together. So, how well do you know your team?
A Stronger You
In my career in wedding planning, I knew that I came from a strong food and beverage background with a sizable amount of experience in off-premise catering. But, I also knew that I knew nothing about flowers and wedding gowns. Because of this, I took a part-time job working for a special event floral designer I had met at a networking event. I answered phones, scrubbed buckets, and prepped flowers. But, I also got to see their process first hand from leads to meetings, proposals, production, and wedding day. And, I eventually got to help with some of the production. I later worked with a bridal salon, learning about gowns, veils, and alterations. Doing this made me an overall stronger wedding planner because I was able to learn what my colleagues’ processes were from start to finish.
Spend Time With Your Team
During the slow season, invest some time meeting with your vendors. Learn about what they offer, what their ideal client looks like, and how they do what they do. My number one suggestion for wedding planners is to work part-time for an off-premise caterer. This helps you to know more about the process of loading and unloading trucks, setting and striking an event, as well as service time. Wedding planners creating timelines without knowing how catering flows behind the scenes are doing themselves, their team, and their couples a disservice.
Price, Product, & Personality
Referring clients to wedding pros means knowing their price, product, and personality. This helps you know who’s a good match for which clients. Just because someone has a couple’s wedding date available and is within your budget does NOT mean they’re a good fit. Knowing their personality will help ensure your clients have a pleasant experience with the people you recommend. This becomes incredibly important when working with LGBTQ+ couples. I, as an openly gay man in the wedding industry, discovered that there were wedding pros who were OK with working with me and accepting referrals, but were not onboard with Marriage Equality.
Wedding Pro Wednesday
With a database of several hundred wedding professionals, we were always asked how new people could get in front of us. Because of this, we instituted Wedding Pro Wednesday. We brought in our entire team one Wednesday a month, cleared our calendars, and scheduled 45-minute appointments with new wedding pros in the area. This left us with about 15 minutes for the guests to pack up, for us to reset the office, and a few minutes to debrief before the next appointment. We would also block out time for a team lunch and discuss any other relevant business. Not only was it a great team-building activity, but we got to meet about eight new pros a month and learn about their businesses.
Really getting to know the people you work with and what they do not only helps you make better referrals, but it also makes you a stronger wedding professional as you learn the ins and outs of what each wedding pro does on a day-to-day basis.