Have you ever wondered what makes a wedding service provider the top-of-mind choice?
What can you do to make people rave about your service? How do you get inbound referrals from the wedding couple to their parents or from wedding guests?
It is all about the consistency of delivering an extraordinary customer experience that differentiates your wedding business from other service providers.
The question is, what is the best way to ensure that you are providing a memorable customer experience?
How did Ali get to be where she is today?
Ali has always loved photography since she was still a little girl. Growing up, she would always take pictures of everything using her disposable camera. Her mom, being her biggest fan and cheerleader, supported her early on as she nourished her love for photography. Ali was in high school for the first time she has been to a dark room where the magic of photography happens. For her, it was a mind-blowing experience, and knew from that moment that this is what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
She went to college and took up photography, which is also where she met her husband, Rob. They were friends for 8 years before they got married. It was in 2012 when she decided to quit her job, pack her bags and do photography full time. This was also the time when her husband, Rob, proposed to her and they decided to move. Ali is now a wife to Rob, a mom to her 2 daughters, Scarlett and Grace, as well as Gunner, their very-spoiled dog.
That day was both a whirlwind and the turning point of her life. Aside from finally deciding to get married, she also decided to start a new beginning in a new place and pursue her passion for photography. She did her first wedding gig in 2008 and has been in the wedding photography business for almost 14 years now.
The importance of creating an exceptional experience for your wedding photography clients
For Ali, the urge to serve and make wedding couples happy on their wedding day is the main reason why she is energized to be in the wedding photography business. On the business side, she believes that word of mouth is very important, especially in the wedding industry, wherein marriage is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of opportunity. Relying on friends’ and families’ reviews is what really makes it a done deal for wedding couples.
With this in mind, Ali can rest easy knowing that her prior customers will attest to the high quality of service she provides and her willingness to go above and beyond. This is what sets Ali apart from the rest in the wedding photography industry. As soon as the couple decides to tie the knot, this keeps Ali at the top of their list of future wedding photography choices. Which in return makes her feel both honored and humbled.
Client recommendations are literally gold dust that can be used as an organic and best way to market your services in the long term. This is despite the fact that advertisements help with acquiring leads and allowing your brand to be out in the public in the first few years of any wedding business. According to Ali, the next milestones and bookings of your wedding business will be determined not only by the couple but also by the other wedding vendors you’ve had the chance to work with from previous weddings.
A simple guide to a Wedding Photography Process to book your next wedding clients
Once the wedding couple sign, it usually starts with the engagement session. Ali talks to her clients about all the vital information for the wedding plans. She sends them a welcome e-mail that includes the details as to what the couple wants their engagement session to look like. According to Ali, she also sends the couple a very detailed questionnaire. Aside from the fact that this will really help her get to know the couple more and how they want to visualize their wedding day, this is also a time wherein she can start building rapport with the couple. This is to guarantee that they will be comfortable when they start working with Ali.
Ali also shared a hack on how to better get to know the wedding couples on social media while connecting with them. Ali shares that the inclusion of her clients on an Instagram filter named, “Close Friends” has helped her tremendously in the aspect of efficiency and easier access. I also shared a hack that I personally know on the topic of Instagram notifications, this is so helpful for me because I can see the recent updates of potential future wedding clients and interact with them consistently to build a level of comfort that would allow me to have the opportunity to introduce my wedding services.
A year prior to the wedding date, Ali sends the wedding couple a handwritten note and welcome gift. As for the actual engagement photoshoot session, Ali makes the most out of this time to connect with the couple personally and get to know what the couple is like in an actual photography session. After this, they discuss the answers based on the wedding questionnaire she has previously shared with the couple, making sure they can go through all the details and consider everything the couple wants when it comes to the outline of wedding photos while planning for their wedding day.
Once she has all the details she got from the questionnaire, they will have another meeting. This is usually a virtual one so that Ali can discuss with the couple the timeline and photo lists. So as not just capture everything but also really embody what the couple are looking for on the most special day of their lives.
Ali, aside from guiding them with an outline of possible wedding looks and photo lists, is also very flexible just in case they need to tweak the details a little bit to adjust them according to the couple’s feedback. Ideally, this should be 6 months prior to the wedding to ensure there will still be plenty of time to move around the revisions and adjustments.
These would also help the couple not have to worry about the stress of rushing and appreciate the process more as is it more manageable for the wedding couple. She also highlighted the significance of always trying to under-promise and over-deliver if you can just to affirm the couple will be pleased with the results.
On the actual wedding day, Ali pointed out the virtue of giving special attention to not just the wedding couple but also the wedding guests. Being in the moment and really being an essential part of their special day. Even if it’s as little as bringing a sewing kit for any wardrobe emergencies, spending a little bit more time on getting good poses from the couple, or checking in with the couple’s parents for some extra photos, all of it counts and will provide a profound effect on the kind of service that they experienced.
Finally, she also added another special touch by sending personalized holiday gifts to the wedding clients she served and the ones who just got engaged. Not necessarily expensive ones, but just to let her wedding clients know that she is thinking of them and that she remembers them. For Ali, it is very crucial to do it right the first time and every time so as to give not just the couple but all the wedding guests an exceptional experience that they will never forget up to the very last moment. Ultimately, these proven steps will help you get more client referrals that would equate to the success of your wedding business.
The biggest thing Ali has learned is that she wishes she knew when she first started
For those wedding photographers who are just starting and would like to increase their confidence in not just defining their edge in the wedding industry but also having a more guided approach, Ali emphasizes the value of being organized. Let’s admit it, we are just human beings and there are times that things fall through the cracks. Ali claims that getting client management and productivity software like Honeybook, Trello, and Notion will not just help you communicate better with your potential wedding clients, but also track your tasks and projects so you are less likely to miss out on anything. She also expressed how process automation has helped her be on top of everything seamlessly.
Ali’s wedding photography style and how her 8 must-have wedding timeline questionnaire will help you plan your wedding
Her style is a clean, classic, passionate, candid, and timeless aesthetic. She enjoys photographing her customers having fun with their loved ones in bright, colorful, romantic, and joyous photographs. To get a glimpse of Ali’s exceptional wedding photography service, make sure to check out the 8 must-have wedding timeline questionnaire to help you plan your wedding and make your life so much easier.
Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to get to know more about Ali and how she can provide an exceptional wedding photography experience for you and your loved ones on your wedding day! You may connect with her via website, Facebook and Instagram.