November 19, 2010  |  Southern Fete News

Lately, I’ve been hit with this topic a few times.

I was with Jason Cohen on a shoot for a bride we are both working with. On the way to her bridals, he asked me if my audience knew the value of hiring me. I honestly wasn’t sure what to say. I hoped they did, but knew I probably didn’t do the best job of sharing that because I absolutely HATE selling myself.

This week I got to meet photographer and new friend Cat Guidry. She asked me what all I did for brides and I told her EVERYTHING. Maybe I was able to share more because I knew she wasn’t “buying” so I wasn’t “selling.” We just talked.

I realized our services have immense value to brides planning their wedding in this day in age. AND so much more than when I was a wee little wedding planner just starting out. Here’s what I realized:

Our services are worth the time it saves the bride communicating with vendors.

The time it saves a bride coming up with creative concepts.

The money it saves a bride with the discounts we receive and tips we offer to save money.

The resources it saves a bride when we have those here at our office already.

The time it saves a bride executing those projects.

The stress it saves the mom and friends on the wedding day.

The energy it saves to research etiquette, rules, marriage license requirements, etc.

The fights it saves between mother and daughter and between bride and groom.

And what do I personally offer?

My brides become like friends. They value my opinion. They appreciate my listening ear. And they enjoy sharing in this process from someone who can relate to them.

Attentiveness to our clients – On weddings days, me and my assistant (my lovely sister Natalie) make sure the bride and groom, the parent’s of the bride and parent’s of the groom and many times grandparents too, are taken care of. Last time that meant Natalie getting flipflops out of the grandmother’s car and literally taking her heels off her feet for her. (She got a raise after that by the way). We don’t stand around and chit chat once the bulk of the job is done. We grab the groom’s coat as he takes it off and looks for a place to put it. We bring water to a thirsty bride. We know how to cut cake if your facility doesn’t provide someone to do it or create a bouquet in a snap.

An office to meet in that brides feel comfortable in. One actually told me “I just want to sit in here all day. It’s so peaceful.”

An editor – For your newspaper announcements. (Using that journalism degree!)

A designer for all your paper products.

A calm demeanor in the face of conflict – I stand up for my brides in a respectful way.

A new online system that keeps bride’s organized and give them tips on wedding related events and beyond my scope of service like showers, rehearsal dinners and more.

Great vendor relationships – (Read “plays well with others.” ) One of the compliments I most love to hear from vendors is that we don’t try to tell them what to do like they may have seen in the past. We work WITH them.

Two years ago, I was just starting out and naive about my talents. I’d offer large discounts because who was I to be charging a bride so much? I wanted to help them stay under budget, didn’t I?

Now two years later, my goal is still the same. I’ve just spent the last two years perfecting that craft to offer brides even more! ; ) I’m of course not perfect. My learning is by no means done. That’s because there is one thing I think is the most valuable trait you can possess: a teachable spirit!

1 Comment

  1. What a great article Val! Your passion for your work and your clients is amazing.


  1. Finding Wedding Inspiration | Catherine Guidry's Photography Blog

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