The Internet has made the bride a more educated consumer. Prior to meeting with you she has already armed herself with questions she is told to ask, has done research on your competition, and is likely to be influenced by articles she has read on wedding websites, blogs and in wedding magazines.
Unfortunately much of the information that she reads is inaccurate and skewed. Truly the best authorities on the wedding industry are wedding professionals. They have hands-on experience with the services they provide, as well as understand the real needs that brides have on the day of their wedding (rather than what brides think their needs are going to be).
Individuals that know little about weddings author many articles that are written about the wedding industry. Often the content is comprised of things they read through research and articles that are already published that they re-word or copy.
For example, for many years in national magazines, it was said that invitations should be mailed 4-6 weeks before the wedding. That information is wrong and harmful to the planning process. Guests plan things in advance and may have vacations or scheduling conflicts. The real time that is practical is 6-10 weeks. This allows brides to factor in guests that are out-of–state or country and gives guests a better chance of being able to attend the wedding. The wrongful information regarding only giving 4-6 weeks notice may have lead to the use of “Save The Date” cards that only surfaced in the last 10-15 years.
It is very important to know what you are up against and what information the bride is being fed. To best serve your wedding business, it is important for you to read what brides are reading so you can be prepared to correct the wrong information that can hurt the chances of you making a sale.
As mentioned in a previous blog entry, you can stage your own educational campaign by correcting misinformation through the use of blogging and social media. You can also become known and respected in the industry if you share all misinformation with your industry peers and even your competitors. Wrongful planning information hurts the industry and all wedding professionals should be ready and armed to correct it. If a bride goes to a competitor of yours and they are told by the competitor the same thing you told them regarding the information they read about being wrong, that validates the point you are trying to get across, increases your credibility and can lead to you making a sale, all simply by doing the right thing for your prospect.