Wedding Planning Success Lounge: Wedding Inquiry Form
Whenever a wedding couple contacts me to inquire about my design, planning, or coordination services, the first question I usually get is “How much do you charge?”. This comes even before “Are you available on our wedding day?”
I’m sure many of you experience the same; the key is to move them away from that “how much” question and gather information related to their wedding that will help you understand their needs and their budget. Some of us (me included) don’t have set prices for our services since each wedding is different and each couple has different needs. It’s simply impossible to answer that question about our fees without knowing what they’re looking for. With that information, you will know whether you are a good match or not and how much you should charge. For them, it’s all about “how much;” for us, it’s all about “providing stellar service”.
Having an inquiry form in place facilitates this first contact and it creates a conversation with them before talking about prices. This form is perfect for phone inquiries or also when you meet the couple in person so you can discuss all the details. I personally love to meet a couple in person because that’s when we connect on a deeper level and we can see if our personalities match. My in-person meetings also have the highest closing ratio because the couple can sense my love and passion for my job and they know I can help them.
A clever way to keep the conversation going during the first contact is by suggesting ideas and solutions to their vision or style or theme. That shows your knowledge and expertise and they will be more inclined to sign your agreement. Some call it “free advice”, I call it “useful advice” because the couple will start thinking about different options that they never imagined and they will want to know more from you.
Let’s take a look at what my wedding inquiry form includes.
I always ask for their full names and mailing address (which will be used for the agreement). If you plan same-sex weddings, make sure you are using an inclusive language: don’t type “bride” in the first info section, and “groom” in the next info section. Instead, type “bride/groom” and “groom/bride”, and the two parties will circle what applies to them.
Phone numbers (try to get two of them, home and mobile, or work and mobile) and an e-mail address are key to be connected. I ask what the best way or time is to contact them (phone or e-mail or text, weekdays, business hours, etc.). If you want to track demographics, ask for their date of birth. If they have a wedding website make sure you get the address so you can keep up to date with the information they give to their guests. If you are providing full-service planning the couple can put your contact information on the website so guests can reach out to you directly if they have a question. If they don’t have a wedding website yet, then you can send suggestions (or you can even offer to design one for them in case you provide this service)
Ask for their social media handles so you can connect with them and be part of the conversation. One of my past brides set up a secret Facebook group for her and the bridesmaids and I was invited to participate. The bride shared dress options, invitation ideas, inspirational pictures about her centerpieces, and so on; the girls were helping with the decisions and I was invited to provide my professional opinion. Pinterest can be a great tool to create a board for your couple, add pins that might be relevant, and invite vendors to show what the idea is. One tip: if you are the one creating the board for your couple set it as “private” so you won’t reveal the vision to anyone else before their wedding. Skype and Google Hangout can be very helpful if your couple is not local; having a video call is much better to share linen swatches, paper options, floral arrangement mock-ups, and so on.
This is an excellent way to personalize a wedding. Many couples have different cultural traditions and I always suggest that we incorporate them into the wedding to make it unique, different, memorable. Sometimes the couple is not familiar with their cultural traditions so family members are involved to share beautiful stories. Multi-ethnic weddings are even more fascinating because they allow me to blend different traditions and fully reflect the couple’s heritage.
Did you ever find yourself in the middle of an argument between a bride and a parent, or a groom and a relative on the wedding day? It happened to me a few times and it’s not what you expect to see on a happy day. For this reason, I always ask the couple if there are any special relationships that I should be aware of (divorced parents, non-invited relatives, etc.). By knowing the family dynamics, you can be prepared to handle unpleasant situations on the wedding day, and you can also help with seating assignments at the ceremony and at the reception. You can discuss this (and previous marriages, if any) once the couple decided to hire you, but make sure you have it in your inquiry form and you will follow up on this subject with them because you should know about their families. On the wedding day, you will not only make sure that the cake is delivered to the right room or the DJ is playing the correct songs, it will be a very emotional day for everybody and you will also be there to avoid fights or arguments, and help your brides and grooms enjoy their special day.
Other Family Member
It is always wise to collect information about a family member (this is usually a parent who is involved with the planning and maybe the budget).
The date will be the first question in this section. If you are available on the wedding date you can put a hold for about two weeks (or until you receive another inquiry) while the couple interviews other planners. It will also help you with the venue selection if they don’t have one yet. The same thing applies to the number of guests: you will be looking for a venue with the appropriate capacity. Another great question to ask is related to children. Some couples don’t want children at their wedding, some do but they need a way to keep them entertained, and that’s where you can suggest a separate area at the wedding with babysitting services and entertainment, or maybe set a kids’ table at the reception with games and coloring supplies. If there are any guests with special needs (wheelchair use or other), have them elaborate so you can be prepared and plan accordingly.
The budget is another key question: this is to figure out how much they should spend on each category and it will help you with vendor recommendations if they need any.
Time of day, style, theme, and color palette are also very instrumental in creating a vision board for them, and to suggest ideas. If you have previously done a wedding with the same color combination or theme mention some ideas to get them started with the planning.
Ask how many girls and guys will be in the wedding party, and how they should be called. Many couples are becoming very creative with titles and they are moving away from the traditional “bridesmaids” and “groomsmen”. You can also discuss attire choices and suggest ideas and color combinations for that.
I have a section entirely dedicated to the location information since many couples I meet already have a venue. In this section, I list where ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception will be, at what times, and who the contact at the location(s) is.
This section includes the engagement party, bridal shower, and rehearsal dinner. You will collect the desired date, expected number of guests, time of the day, type of venue. Some of my couples hire me for these extra parties during the planning process and you can offer your assistance for extra sales.
This is where I list each category, whether a specific vendor is needed or not, and if the couple already contracted one. If they haven’t booked any yet then I will collect more details about style, needs, etc. so I can provide the appropriate recommendations.
It’s always great to track where your clients come from, and I have a little section at the bottom of the inquiry form where I write what the couple needs (design consultation, day-of, month-of, or full service), and who sent them to me.
Do you have an inquiry form in place? If you do, make sure that you have a comprehensive list of questions that will help you better understand your client’s needs and you will be able to provide a personalized proposal or quote. If you don’t have one yet, take some time to create one by following my suggestions above. You’re welcome 🙂
Purchase my Inquiry Form below to provide personalized and stellar service to your wedding couples!
As a Holistic Precision Life Coach and creator of the Life-Work Balance System, I empower ambitious professionals and high achievers like you to optimize themselves and unlock their full potential, fostering enhanced well-being and productivity in their lives and careers. I combine innovative methodologies (epigenetics, neuroscience, chronobiology, and positive psychology) to facilitate profound lifestyle transformations.