Give a Budget Bride a Break : Part I

As a vendor in the wedding industry my inbox is bombarded with articles and invites for workshops on how to lure the “upscale bride.” I was moved to write when I got an article titled, “Get a Nordstrom’s Bride in a Wal-MartWorld.”  We all know that the world changed on September 11, 2001 and we are still feeling the aftershocks in the economy, job stability, and even weddings. People didn’t stop getting married but stayed engaged longer, prioritized differently, and yes changed their wedding budgets—could you blame them? Well unlike some of my counterparts in the industry, Black-Tie Babysitting doesn’t think shying away from the “budget bride” is the answer.   

I have learned there are two distinctive types of budget brides. You first have to identify which type is your prospective client. Then you have to determine if you are willing to work with her to create an event she will be proud of.   The national average spent on a wedding is $28,000 which is a lot of money for most couples.   

The type A budget bride suffers from sticker shock and is trying to rationalize spending so much money on a single event.  She is under the impression that the whole thing could not possibly cost this much, and if she researches enough that she will find the price that’s right.  When this type of bride contacts Black-Tie Babysitting, she doesn’t have questions other than price. I tell her our stock prices and wait for the pause. If she responds with what she anticipated the price would be I kindly reiterate our prices and give her our competitors’ contact information.  By contacting our competitors she will see that we are priced within the marketplace and will be ready to have a consultation if she calls back.  I will work with this bride.  It is a matter of educating her about our services and showing her the bang that she is getting for her buck.

Some wedding vendors don’t want to sale and thus only want to deal with brides where budget is not an issue.  I won’t place judgment on these vendors but believe as David Ogilvy said “In the modern world of business, it is useless to be creative, original thinker unless you also sell what you create.”

The type B budget bride is exactly what the reputation that precedes her says, cheap and trying to get something for nothing.  Typically this budget bride will contact me with the exact number she is willing to pay for our onsite childcare service. Also, these brides try to change your business model as leverage for a lower price.  I have had brides want to increase our children to staff ratios which are purposely lower than state regulations for brick and mortar daycares. Then there was the bride who wanted a lower price because she could provide construction paper and other art supplies.

I guess the point of the piece is to assume nothing when it comes to perspective clients, especially those who label themselves “budget” brides.  The reality is you could be dealing with type A of the budget brides and miss an opportunity.  I once had a budget bride who contacted me and went back-n-forth over our services for three weeks.  Black-Tie Babysitting did not negotiate the price. The bride found value in our services and got her maid-of-honor to pay our invoice.  Once I got to the wedding reception I realized why.   The bride was an encore bride or a bride who has been previously married and this was her second wedding.  She had three children. While wanting to have them present for the wedding; she did not want her mommy duties to overshadow her being a bride.  Also her husband’s family had several children.  The decorations were minimal and the food was home cooked in the groom’s family kitchens and brought to the reception hall.  However, the bride wore a designer dress and again paid for our onsite childcare services.   A budget bride may be tight on most details of her wedding but there are services that she will be willing to splurge on if she sees the value.

“If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.” Napoleon Hill. The budget bride challenges wedding vendors’ creativity and resources.  Look for “Give a Budget Bride a Break: Part II” where we will highlight specific ways Black-Tie Babysitting can accommodate a bride on a budget.  If you considered yourself a “budget bride” write a comment and share your experience.

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