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We serve brides who desire a stress-free, streamlined & joyful engagement & wedding by providing an experience that allows our couples to fully enjoy this special season & receive jaw-dropping, joy-filled photos they'll pass down for generations to come!

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We're an Illinois wedding photo & video team for joyful, classic Caitlin and Luke Brides, educators who teach business owners to be more than photographers, dog parents to our doodle Oliver, and a married couple living life in Central Illinois!

3 Ways to Book More Weddings As a Wedding Photographer

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May 4, 2020

How to book more weddings

As we mentioned in last week’s blog post, one of the most common questions we are asked by other wedding photographers is: “How do I book more weddings?” In this post, we started to answer this question by FIRST tackling the question of, “How do I get more wedding inquiries?” We gave you guys 5 ways to increase the amount of inquiries your business gets!

Now that you’ve been implementing our 5 tips for bringing more inquiries into your business, let’s FINALLY dive into how you can begin to book MORE weddings for your business! These tips will especially help any photographer who is…

1. Struggling with getting ghosted by inquiring brides,
2. Having a hard time closing leads and booking weddings,
3. And wishing they could book up faster than they currently are!

In this post, we’ll share the exact strategies we use increase the amount of weddings we book. Let’s dive in!

1. CURATE A PERSONAL BRAND

Our #1 tip for beginning to book more weddings is to start developing a more personal brand, TODAY. Did you know that when someone likes and trusts another person, they are much more likely and excited to invest in that person, simply because they like and trust them?

Since this is true, as photographers and business owners, it’s our job to help clients fall in love with us and develop a deep sense of trust in us. There are a few main ways we do this!

First, we share tons of photos of us and share about who we are personally in a few very strategic ares. These areas include our website, our social media profiles, and our investment guide! We want our faces to be all over every page of our website. We also want our faces to be easily found in our Instagram feed and stories. Lastly, we want our faces visible in multiple places throughout the investment guide we send to inquiring brides!

The same goes for sharing those connecting points! We want to make sure that we share relatable content about ourselves, what makes us “us,” and our life in those same places. Our website, social media and investment guide are filled with connecting points!

tip: make sure connecting points serve a purpose!

The key when sharing connecting points is to make sure that in some way, your connecting points are serving one of two purposes:

Purpose ONE is helping your client like you! Some connecting points that can help your client like you include…

  • where you love to shop
  • your favorite restaurants or coffee shops
  • your favorite shows on Netflix
  • your family and pet

These types of connecting points have twofold purposes, as they can also strategically serve to attract your ideal bride, which is super exciting, too.

Purpose TWO is helping your client learn to trust you! Some connecting points that can help your client trust you might include…

  • sharing about your recent experience as a bride & how that has helped you serve your couples even better! It could be…
  • talking about why you love what you do & how you infuse every step of your client experience with that purpose
  • sharing how much you care for your couples personally & why this care has led you to create resources to serve them throughout their experience working with you!

PERSONALIZE ONLINE COMMUNICATION

Another way to develop a personal brand is to be more personal in your online communication! We love utilizing email templates in order to save time and communicate professionally and effectively with our clients. However, our goal is for a client to never feel like they’re receiving a templated email. That would be terrible! In order to be sure this never happens, we personalize every email and text message we send to our clients!

It’s vital to use our clients’ names throughout multiple parts of each message to them. People’s names are their favorite word, so use them often! We also recommend writing a personal note at the beginning and end of a templated email in order to keep it very personal.

For example, if we were sending over a response to an inquiring bride, we would take time to include a personal paragraph. This paragraph might express things like why we love their wedding venue, answer questions from their inquiry message, and mention our mutual connection of whoever referred them. Doing things like this helps the bride feel that her experience is being personalized just for her… because it truly is!

ensure your systems, automation, and templates are all personal!

Systems, automation and templates are wonderful because they help business owners free up MORE time to pour into serving our couples well and continuing to develop that personal experience for them. But, we promise you that brides can tell when you’re using a template! Be sure to make extra effort to be personal and caring whenever you automate or template anything… it’s so important.

Lastly, be you on email! Certainly, be professional when it comes to all communication, but don’t feel the need to be overly stiff and formal if that’s not your personality. I still remember when Luke started working with me years ago and teased me for the formal way I ended my emails! He encouraged me to be fully myself on email, and promised that the right brides would love it.

As our Caitlin & Luke Brides now know, on email and in texts, I use lots of exclamation points, hearts and smiles, because that’s who I am! I want each email from us to be joy-filled, helpful, professional and kind. The right brides will love your balance of personal and professional… we promise.

PS: There should not be an email template for everything! 😉 Most of our correspondence with our brides does not involve an email template. For the emails we found we were sending to every bride at certain points of her wedding experience, we found we could actually serve them better with a templated email. We then created one main, effective templated email, and personalize it for each bride. Plus, having templates for some emails actually allows us to respond to our brides even faster, which is so important!

UTILIZE VIDEO AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE

The final way we strategically develop a personal brand, in order to book more weddings, is to utilize video as much as possible… especially during the booking process! Fun fact: since implementing the video strategies we discuss in detail in our brand new course {launching SOON!}, we never get ghosted anymore. {Sign up for the waiting list for our course here… it launches in May!}

Couples LOVE when they get to see their photographer on video! Videos help our couples feel like we care deeply about them as people {which we do!}, like we are investing a lot of time into them {because we are!}, and like they know us already. It also builds that trust and likability we shared about above!

We challenge you to brainstorm ways to implement videos throughout your entire wedding inquiry process. Not only will this set you apart from other photographers, but since implementing video throughout our inquiry experience, we have started booking weddings within 24-48 hours after the bride inquires! We share EXACTLY what we do and see sample videos that have given us success in our brand new course, launching soon! Sign up to be the first to hear when it launches HERE!

Looking for more ways to create a personal, unmatched client experience? Grab our free guide to learn 6 ways to take your client experience to the next level… TODAY!

2. PROVIDE A STREAMLINED BOOKING EXPERIENCE

Another reasons we book more weddings, faster is because we provide a very streamlined booking experience for our brides! We are huge fans of our client management software, Honeybook. We 100% believe that it helps us book more weddings, and we recommend it to every photographer! {Click here to get 50% off your first year using Honeybook!}

There are so many reasons we believe Honeybook helps us book more weddings. First, it eliminates the amount of hoops a bride has to jump through in order to book with us! Instead of sending a bride a questionnaire through one program, a contract through another, an invoice through another, and a proposed timeline through another, with Honeybook, everything is in one place. In fact, when a bride is ready to book, she even receives just ONE link to the file she needs to fill out in order to book us!

The more programs you use when sending over booking information, the more hoops the bride has to go through which can cause them to move on! We also love Honeybook because it is easy for the bride to navigate, which also ensures the bride doesn’t decide not to book last minute! All a bride needs to do in order to book with us is click on one link to a Proposal {which is one file containing a contract and invoice}. She then electronically signs her contract and can pay her retainer with a credit card or bank transfer! It’s so simple and fast, and we believe that has helped us book MORE weddings, faster.

Did we mention We love honeybook

Lastly, we love Honeybook because it also provides organization for us and our brides. Every document is in one place… their questionnaire, contract, invoice, wedding timeline and more! Not only this, but Honeybook allows us to create templates for everything. Having templates means we can quickly send over booking information to an interested bride. The faster we can send over a contract and an invoice, the faster and easier the bride can book!

Most importantly, we love Honeybook because our brides love it so much! Our brides frequently mention throughout their experience and in their review after their wedding how much they love it. They even say that they wish all other vendors used it! To us, this a clear sign that Honeybook provides our couples with a great experience!

Want to give it a try?! Click here to get 50% off your first year using Honeybook!

3. MAKE IT HARD FOR THE BRIDE TO SAY NO

Because of the strategies we’ve shared in this post, if an inquiring bride decides not to work with us, it is only ever because she cannot afford our prices. Our goal is to provide such an incredible experience throughout the inquiry process that only reason could cause them to say no: their budget. If a bride has to let us know that she’s unable to work with us, it’s evident that this was an incredibly difficult decision, because we took such good care of the bride throughout the inquiry process. That is our goal!

However, due to the strategies we’ve shared in this post, we frequently book brides who were not initially planning on investing as much into their wedding photography! Because they fell in love with us personally and saw the value of working with us, they simply HAD to make it work. That’s also our goal!

THIS is our goal for you! We want your inquiring brides to react the same exact way, so we’re going to break down exactly how we make turning down working with us so tough for to do. 🙂 Here are a few quick tips:

PERSONALLY & QUICKLY THANK YOUR REFERRALS

It’s so important to express gratitude to the people who are referring you to other clients… especially when past brides refer you to new brides! That is huge! This makes your past bride feel special and appreciated because you noticed that they shared about you with their loved ones. It also encourages them to keep referring you in the future.

We’ve also noticed that reaching out to past brides to thank them for referring us to a new bride helps us book more weddings! Crazy, right?

After we text a past bride to thank them for referring their friend or family member our way, 99% of the time, our past bride will reach out to the new inquiring bride! She will tell them that they have to book with us and list all the ways we served them throughout their own wedding experience. She essentially does ALL the convincing for us!! 😉 This also builds more trust with the inquiring bride, because they’re able to hear about someone else’s experience with us, straight from the source. It’s like an online review has come to LIFE!

Even if an inquiring bride simply saw your work because you shot their friend’s wedding, still reach out! Thank your past bride and tell them that their friend inquired with you, because of your past bride. It’s important to always express gratitude! Even if they’re only acquaintances, if you gave that past bride an incredible experience, chances are she’ll still reach out to the inquiring bride and tell her how amazing you are.

Wondering how to give your brides the type of experience they can’t HELP but share about with everyone? Here’s a free gift for you! This guide shares 6 game-changing tips for taking your client experience to the next level TODAY!

BE STRATEGIC WITH YOUR INVESTMENT GUIDE

We have one final tip for how to make it very hard for a bride to turn you down! Ready for it? Be strategic with the investment guide you send to inquiring brides.

Friend, if you’re just sending a PDF with a few FAQ’s and your wedding collections, you’re missing out on such a HUGE opportunity for making it hard for a bride to turn you down! Your investment guide should be a resource strategically filled with content. Its content should:

  • help an inquiring bride fall even more in love with you
  • see the value behind the services and experience you offer
  • receive answers to all the questions they didn’t even know they had
  • access pricing information and next steps,
  • calm every fear your bride may not even have been aware she experienced

That’s a tall order, right? Not to worry… we’re breaking down all the important elements of our own investment guide in our brand new course, launching soon! You can hop on the waiting list to be the first to know when it launches THIS MONTH right here.

Don’t be this photographer…

Don’t be one of those photographers who provides just the bare minimum in their investment guide! One of the reasons we believe we book so many weddings so quickly {without ever doing consults with our couples!} is because we are so strategic with our investment guide.

Think about it! A photographer who only provides the bare minimum in their online investment guide may want a client to ask all their questions during an online consult.

But what if you were different? What if you provided so many answers, advice and resources in your investment guide that a client was able to decide to book you immediately after reading it?

What if they could finish your investment guide and feel like they know you already, have all their questions and concerns answered, and know exactly which collection they need to best fit their wedding day?

You just won that lead by providing what your bride needed faster and in a form that they can refer back to if they want to revisit an answer to a question!

BONUS TIP:

Ensure that your pricing is set up correctly and that you aren’t providing so many options that couples become overwhelmed and choose another photographer who provides simpler options.

We fully believe that being strategic with our investment guide has helped us book more weddings, faster. It’s all about providing an incredible experience to your couples from the moment they land on your website and inquire with you! We’ve seen how doing just this has changed our business forever.

We’re proof that these tips, over time, can dramatically grow your business and help you increase your wedding bookings… and we can’t wait to see your success!!

Xoxo,
Caitlin & Luke

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Get in Touch

Bride and groom's full names*

email Address*

Phone Number*

Your wedding date*

Message to caitlin & luke*

SEND

Cue the confetti! We've officially received your wedding inquiry, and we couldn't be more excited to start this journey with you.

Here's when you can expect to hear back from us, based on when you submitted your inquiry:

∙  MONDAY - FRIDAY BETWEEN 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM | You can expect a response within 24 hours.
∙  AFTER 5:00 PM MONDAY - THURSDAY | You can expect a response the following morning.
∙  ON THE WEEKEND | You can expect a response when we're back in the office Monday morning.

In the meantime, please enjoy resources we've just created for you on our blog by clicking right here. We cannot wait to start this journey with you soon!

Congratulations on your engagement! Talk to you soon.

Get in Touch

Bride & groom's full names*

Email address*

Phone NUmber*

Your wedding date*

message to caitlin & luke*

SEND

Cue the confetti! We've officially received your wedding inquiry, and we couldn't be more excited to start this journey with you.

Here's when you can expect to hear back from us, based on when you submitted your inquiry:

∙  MON - FRI BETWEEN 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM | You can expect a response within 24 hours.
∙  AFTER 5:00 PM MON - THURS | You can expect a response the following morning.
∙  WEEKEND | You can expect a response when we're back in the office Monday morning.

In the meantime, please enjoy resources we've created just for you by clicking here. Congratulations on your engagement!!!