In January of 2012, Eventective sat down with Meri & Christian, a bride-to-be and her fiancé, to discuss their event planning process, what the modern bride is using the internet for, and what tools we should be providing on the site. Much of what we heard was what we expected, but there were some surprises.
Eventective: Congratulations, I understand your wedding is in October and you’ve been done with your planning for months.
Meri & Christian: Thanks, we were lucky enough to find the perfect place early on. I think it was the second place we visited.
E: Did you use Eventective for any of your planning.
Just for browsing venues, really. We never submitted a request or anything like that. We were looking for something rustic and we checked out a barn just outside of Portland, but their price was way outside of our budget. Then we went to an open house at North Dam Mill
and found exactly what we were looking for - a rustic former-mill that we can decorate however we like.
E: That’s understandable, 98% of our visitors use the site to browse the venues we have listed, only 2% actually submit requests on the site. It’s too bad we don’t have a “rustic” filter for browsing venues, that might have helped.
M&C: We also had difficulty finding a venue that didn’t have restrictions. Many places told us we would have to use their caterer, or they had fixed packages that didn’t match our budget or style.
E: In terms of timing, did you search Eventective for any of your vendors at the same time you were reviewing venues, or did you want to determine your venue first?
M&C: We definitely focused on finding our venue first. But we weren’t even aware that we could find vendors on Eventective. Several friends had given us recommendations for DJs and Photographers, but none of them got back to us. We were kind of surprised given the state of the economy that nobody called back. At first we wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt, but after several days with no response we moved on.
Eventually one DJ did get back to us, and when we met with Kevin from Amazing DJ we hit it off right away. We are so pleased with Kevin, that we hired him as our DJ and our photographer.
E: We have heard from many of the vendors on our site that Brides submitting requests do not get back to them when they reach out, but this is the first we’ve heard of vendors not responding to brides. That is very surprising. Did you use any other sites for your planning?
M&C: We used The Knot, but not to search for services. We checked out their timeline and their budget tools, but we preferred to use the checklist in the back of our Conscious Bride’s Wedding Planner. We really liked keeping the contact information for all our vendors in one place, and it’s hard to do that online.
E: Did you use any other online resources?
M&C: We just love etsy.com. It’s a great resource for creative ideas and finding the perfect something for your wedding. We got our invitations and save-the-date cards on there.
E: Well, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. Congratulations again, and best of luck to you!
Meri and Christian are one example of a couple using the internet to help plan their wedding. A majority of couples go online at some point to research wedding venues and vendors, read reviews and get ideas for their big day. There is opportunity for event businesses to capitalize on this with a strong online presence.
- Sell yourself with a well-designed website and updated listings on the major wedding planning websites.
- Allocate some of your marketing budget to online advertising so you optimize your business on the major search engines and stand out from the competition.
- Add wedding packages, rental rates or sample menus with pricing information to your website and Eventective listing. Couples are looking for this information and it helps generate more targeted inquiries for you if they know upfront what you typically charge.
- Because of the digital world we live in, couples expect quick communication. Make sure you respond to prospective customers in a timely manner. Even if you are not available on their requested date or the budget they indicated is not within your range, you should respond. They may be flexible with the date and budget and will appreciate a response from you.