Weddings are obviously expensive, we all know that. Often times the photographer is one of the biggest bills on the wedding day – accounting for 10-15% of the total wedding budget. That means that the average wedding photographer is asking for a 2500-3500 dollar check. That’s a lot of money for just about anyone.
Meeting the Bride | Consultation
Meeting with the bride for the first time is exciting! You’ve probably spoken on the phone a couple times and exchanged several e-mails. After hours and hours of searching they have finally decided that you are worth meeting. This means their foot is ‘in the door’. Now you have to seal the deal. If you are a young photographer, say, under the age of 32, then you might have to work a little harder to get the contract signed and I’ll tell you why.
Most young brides are not paying for their own wedding. For better or worse, mommy/daddy are picking up most of this bill. Given that fact, it’s not uncommon for mom and/or dad to come to this first meeting. You’ve probably spent some time building a rapport with the bride. You talked to her for a couple minutes on the phone, tried to quickly grasp at her personality, then you started building that friendship. You can quickly tell if the bride is quirky and likes to joke or if she’s more serious and just stressed out. You tailor your conversations that person and build a relationship. Remember that while you are trying to relate on a personal level to the bride, it might not be wise to use the same strategy on the parents.
Yes, you want to be likeable, but with regards to parents, you’d rather be perceived as professional than likeable. Trust me. Let’s take a moment to look at it from the parents point of view.
- You are not a big wedding studio/company
- Will you be in business 12 months from now?
- Do you have insurance for your company?
- Are you paying taxes, are you a registered LLC, is this legal?
- Who made your contract?
- Do you backup the images or are you just using a little macbook and external HDD?
- Do you have backup cameras and lenses
These are things I’d be thinking as I’ve grown in the industry and many savvy parents will wonder these things as well. So when you are dealing with parents the more professional you come across the more likely you are to get mommy and daddy’s blessing. I don’t mean you should lie. You shouldn’t have to. You should be licenses/LLC, you should have business insurance, sound professional contracts, and have a backup workflow. You should have professional gear and backups.
Make it a point to identify their concerns before they even have time express them. Have paperwork ready. Have price points for add-ons ready. Have a folio and album samples. Talk about the wedding day with the detailed knowledge you have. Walk them through the morning, afternoon, and evening hour by hour. Show your expertise.