Career Magazine

Wedding Planner Q & A “What Do I Do When I Don’t Hear From a Bride After I Send a Proposal?”

By Sharonhill @sharonhill

Are you a new wedding planner who sends proposals then doesn’t hear back from brides? Top wedding planners don’t write one for every bride who asks. Here’s what you want to do when a new bride contacts you for detailed information on wedding planning rates.

Question

I’m new and I’ve only planned a few weddings. I received a call from a bride who said she had heard great things about me and was very flattering. She was anxious for me to start planning her wedding but didn’t have time to meet for a couple of weeks. She asked me to put together a proposal and email it to her so she could start making decisions at our first meeting.

I spent days working on her proposal. I found caterers who could provide the food she wanted, researched party rental prices and visited her venue. I emailed the proposal to her and called a few times to follow up but was unable to get in touch with her. She finally emailed me and told me she didn’t have the budget for the plan I proposed. I was never able to get in touch with her again.

What did I do wrong?

Answer

Unfortunately, this has happened to other wedding planners too. You’re new and may think that a detailed proposal will help a bride see how great you are and hire you. While most brides are honest, some brides go to multiple planners for proposals, take ideas from each, then plan the wedding themselves. Or, they hire one planner and ask that person to incorporate their ideas with the ones from other planners.

Here are DOs and DON’Ts for handling requests for proposals that can help you avoid being taken advantage of again:

DO qualify a bride before offering to do a proposal

Spend time talking to her, learn what she really wants and find out what her budget is. If she doesn’t have time to talk, doesn’t ask many questions about how you work and just wants a proposal, chances are good she’s not serious about hiring you.

DON’T feel you have time to do detailed proposals just because you don’t have many clients right now.

Your time and expertise are valuable, you shouldn’t be giving them away easily. If you aren’t busy with clients, spend your time marketing your services online and getting out in your community to meet vendors whom you can add to your network.

DO charge for research

Finding caterers, researching prices and visiting venues are all consultation services that you can, and should, get paid for. When a bride asks that your proposal include these things, tell her about your consultation services. If she doesn’t want to pay you for your work, she isn’t the right bride for you.

DON’T assume every bride who says she will hire you will actually do it

You don’t have a client until you have a signed contract and a deposit. Get a bride to make a commitment before doing any work.

You’re probably thinking that not doing detailed proposals for free will drive away potential paying clients. However, what it really does is prevent you from devoting time, energy and emotion to brides who will never hire you.

And if you have a pressing question about starting or running your wedding planning business, you can send me an email at questions@sharonhill.com. I will answer them on this blog or in my ezine, “Wedding Planner Tips,” which you can subscribe to here.


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