Want to know how to actually have successful bride consultations and book more wedding photography clients? If you are anything like l was, your consultations are a bit stressful.
In 2012, I remember actually sweating any time a bride wanted to chat over the phone. I’m even a “phone person!” I love chatting on the phone but in the beginning, I always let the nerves get the best of me.
I was so eager to book them that I’d fumble on my words. I’d ask tons of personal questions getting to know them and their love story.
Then I’d get off the phone and realize I literally forgot so many important details. Not to mention, it felt like I didn’t take a breath the whole 30 minutes we were on the phone!
One day, I just got sick of the stress and nerves of inquiries! I realized I need a plan! So, in case you feel flustered during bride phone consultations or in-person meetings, this is for you, friend!
Let’s chat about how to book more wedding photography clients with successful bride consultations!
And grab our Bride Consultation Worksheet to help guide you throughout your calls so you don’t forget a thing!
Too often, we talk too much. We think we need to spew a million different things at the client hoping that one of those things will make them book your photography business over another.
Take this time, your first impression with this new client, and truly ask them questions to get them excited about their wedding (or session).
Tell us all about your love story! How did you meet? How did the proposal happen?
Once we’ve covered their love, we dive into the fun wedding questions!
What are you most excited about on the wedding day? Have you asked your bridesmaids to be in the wedding? Have you said “YES” to the dress?
Most importantly, you need to make a connection. Find your commonalities. Did you grow up close to each other? Do you have friends in common? Are you both dog moms? Do you have the same favorite dessert?
I know this sounds silly but one time a client booked us right away because she saw that our dog’s name was Elli! Their dog’s name was Elli so she took it as a sign! That right there should be proof enough that authentic connecting should be your number one goal!
Don’t stress if you don’t connect. Just know if that happens, they probably weren’t meant to be your client and that’s okay. With wedding photography, you are truly investing your time and energy as a business owner and you want clients that you enjoy being around too! So think of it as a two-way interview!
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After you make a connection, the goal during the consultation is to gather information about the couple and their wedding day so you can do the best job possible. During our wedding consultations, we always like to ask these questions to learn all about their wedding day:
Once we have a pretty good idea of the wedding day and what’s most important to them, we begin talking about the timeline. This is the perfect way to really start adding value to their wedding experience before they even hire you! Show them you are the expert and you want to help make their day absolutely perfect!
Ask questions like:
What time is the ceremony? Is it set in stone by the church or do we have the flexibility to create the perfect photo timeline? Are you planning a fun sparkler exit?
For us, when it comes to photo coverage, we usually work backward. If they’re doing a fun exit, they will most likely want coverage of that. So then we know the end time for sure. We typically need about 3 – 4 hours before the ceremony starts to get portraits and getting ready.
Help them have an idea of what your perfect wedding photo timeline will look like so there are no surprises in the planning process.
Once you’ve connected and shown that you are already adding some serious value to their lives, now you start talking about you!
What’s your process? How do you operate? Start from the top and explain what it’s like to work with you. How do you help them? Set expectations. Always remember being clear is being kind, y’all!
Here are a few topics we make sure to talk about during our wedding photography consultation:
The best time to start talking about your collections is toward the end of the meeting. Make sure you ask what they want! Do they want engagement photos or bridals? Maybe they don’t care about that and just want day-of coverage. This is your time to really find out their needs and wants.
Ask about their budget! Everyone has a budget, even if it’s $10,000. Don’t be afraid to ask! You need as much information as possible so you can help them figure out which wedding photography collection of yours will be best for them.
Always make sure to put their needs above your own! If they don’t want engagements, don’t try to push them. Just be their guide! Ask what they need and what they want then guide them to the best collection.
We always like to make custom collections too. This helps make our brides feel heard and like their needs are being met. No one wants to buy a collection with things in it they don’t want.
Now, please don’t take this as me telling you to discount your packages! For us, we know the value of our time and our sessions. We make sure that everything is interchangeable for clients so they don’t have a session in their collection just because.
We swap services for services and goods for other goods. So if they don’t want a print, we can instead upgrade their album.
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You already showed how awesome you are by creating their rockstar timeline for them. Now continue that by asking them if they need any vendor recommendations. How can you help them with the overall planning process?
Ask them if they have any questions and then make sure to give them a second to think about the collections and their investment.
We never pressure our couples to make a decision on the spot. We know sometimes they are meeting with other photographers and that’s totally okay.
After the meeting, follow up with them with vendor recommendation and as much helpful info as possible! One thing we make sure to do is always offer to share full wedding galleries of similar weddings so they have a feel for exactly what to expect from us.
Alright, friend! I hope this helps put you at ease during your next wedding photography bride consultation.
Don’t forget to grab our Bride Consultation Worksheet to help guide you throughout your calls so you don’t forget a thing!
If you follow these steps, make a connection and put their needs first, I’m sure you will see your booking rate increase! Here’s to successful bride consultations, friends!
Michelle & the whole Cotton team