Getting engaged is so exciting!!  After sharing the news with friends, family, co-workers, social media connections and every one you come in to contact with, what’s the next thing you do?

YOU SIGN UP FOR THINGS!

You join wedding planning platforms like The Knot/Wedding Wire, Zola and ThumbTack and wedding Facebook groups in your area, and – if you’re like many excited couples – you sign up to attend wedding expos.

Vendors pay big bucks to have a booth at a wedding expo.  The fee for a booth is often close to $1,000.  Add in staff time for preparation, decoration, and sitting in the booth, marketing materials, set up/tear down, and they can easily have a couple of thousand dollars invested all for the privilege of hoping to have a conversation with you that results in a consultation appointment… but mostly to get the mailing list. If they are a big ticket item like photography or a venue, one sale can often cover their entire investment to participate at a show.

This is all part of the game of marketing, albeit in an antiquated way.

And the post-event marketing activities of emails, calls, and text messages cultivates a ‘we vs. them’ mentality viewed as SPAM and frequently lambasted in wedding Facebook groups where y’all talk.

So let’s talk about that and cover some strategies to give you peace of mind… and less spam.

Two winning ideas from other couples:

  • Set up a new email just for the wedding (i.e. smith-jones.wedding@gmail.com).
    • My advice is set up TWO!  One for registrations at events like wedding expos and the other for communication with vendors you’re seriously interested in or have contracted with.  Don’t worry about losing important emails in the junk folder, just let your contracted vendors know the correct email address to use.
  • Set up a Google Voice number.  It’s free and you don’t even have to have it forwarded to your phone.  Just check your voicemails on a regular basis.

Heck, this is good advice even if you’re NOT getting married!

Now, let’s talk about MY pet peeve: Couples who G-H-O-S-T vendors after REQUESTING information. This could be on platforms like The Knot/WeddingWire, Zola and ThumbTack or directly via social media messages, email, or Contact Us on the vendors’ website.

Picture this scenario… you’re wanting quotes from, oh let’s just say ‘wedding officiants.’  You check out the many profiles and reviews on the planning platform and reach out to a few with a canned response like this:

The vendor responds with the information you requested… and then silence.  Crickets.

We follow up again and again because, hey, you might have missed the first response.  This creates SPAM.

The ONLY sure-fire strategy to reduce or eliminate this type of spam:

  • Respond, even if it’s to say you’ve already made a decision or when you think you might be making a decision.  Trust me, we’d rather hear a “no thanks” than complete silence.  We’re adults, we’ll move on, but silence leaves the door open and creates more spam for you.

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Now a personal note… Elevate Wedding Officiant’s business commitment to reduce spam:
I’ve made some hard decisions since taking over Elevate Wedding Officiant last November, and the hardest was dropping all but one wedding planning platform.  Our success relies on incoming referrals and leads so dropping marketing avenues that generate 10-20 new leads every week was a tough decision.  Fact is, I was getting tired of paying up to $14-15 per incoming lead when 95% of the couples ghosted us after the first response.

Another hard decision was deciding to forego a booth at wedding expos.  I heard you loud and clear in the Facebook groups and many shared how you make your vendor decisions… and it’s not through the expos.

We are blessed at Elevate Wedding Officiant to be on the preferred vendor list for MANY Colorado venues and – truth be told – those referrals are prized by us.  We’ve worked hard building a reputation where venues can feel confident referring their clients to us, and that’s the marketing avenue we’re going to nurture from this point forward.

The most important relationship, however, is with YOU.  We are here to support you on this journey and eliminate as much stress as in our power to do so.

By Denise O’Malley, Business Manager & Officiant