Tim Rose brings his expertise to next year’s highly anticipated event.
Attending bridal fairs and wooing popular venues and wedding coordinators is important if weddings are a major target. But if you have limited resources, you can expand your wedding business simply by popping meaningful questions of your own.
The First Date
The bride calls to see what it will cost to get her guests to and from a wedding. Wedding transportation may be more common with couples selecting a separate reception site or with a lot of time between ceremony and reception. But it is still neither an expected nor a required service for wedding attendees.
For cautious couples concerned that a drinking incident will spoil their event, wedding transportation is an opportunity for all operators that a transportation network company (TNC) cannot fulfill. No one wants a festivities-related safety issue in a car, so reach beyond only what your caller asks for. Make sure you get every guest where they need to be. Bring in more revenue and make lifelong customers by providing a memorable, picture-perfect, and safe experience.
Before giving hourly rates, hold off and listen for what the couple is asking. Don’t jump to pricing estimates too fast. Often, they may not be sure what they want or need. It’s your job to understand and interpret their primary concern.
If it is safe transportation or getting everyone to various destinations, become the wedding transportation consultant who knows wedding needs. The client has likely never arranged a wedding before, so walk through the complete celebration — something more than just the wedding day — and highlight opportunities where comprehensive transportation would make the event more seamless and safe.
White stretch limousines may be favored by some because of their wedding allure, but don’t lose a sale over this small request. If you don’t have one, you can get one from an affiliate, or you can give all the reasons why a black limousine might be the better choice:
Getting Good Information
Along with getting the basics of dates and locations, congratulate the happy couple. Ask about the proposal and the size of the wedding. Be genuinely interested. And then get to popping some questions of your own. You will nearly always get more work if you help them think through the logistics. Some questions you might consider asking the couple:
These are just the actual wedding weekend events. But wait, there’s more:
So many questions, but so many opportunities for revenue.
That Wedding Day Glow
With all the details of places and people, it is time to sparkle. Glowing recommendations come when the service adds to the wedding day luster. Make some suggestions that help set the tone. Specialty vehicles are popular, for example, and if you have them, they make for great photos.
If the getaway vehicle will be in photos, arrange for appropriate decorations or offer the florist or bridal party access to the car ahead of time to decorate. Even if local regulations and safety concerns require these items be removed for travel, they will add to the long-term memories in photographs.
Offer special little things like particular chauffeur attire or ties that match the wedding colors. Simple things cost very little, add to a cohesive look, and will be remembered in those photos, reviews and recommendations.
How about a CD of special songs in each of the vehicles? Couples often provide party favor CDs of “their” songs. If they make the CD, why not include these in the vehicles for guests on the wedding day? If the couple plans on providing different favors, ask if they have a particular CD or mix they’d like guests to hear during their rides. This helps avoid ad breaks on the car radio, and can set the tone for the celebration ahead with appropriate music for the day.
If one or more chauffeurs will be with the guests throughout the wedding festivities, give each driver a disposable camera. Guests can take “selfies” in the car, and you can print and share the photos with the couple as a thoughtful surprise after the wedding.
Ask the couple how they’re “branding” their wedding. Do they have their own hashtag? Did they create their own monogram? Offer to include those details on the complimentary water bottles. Does the bride have extra wedding invitations, with all the timing and location details? Stash a few in the cars so that forgetful guests can access all the information they need.
And last but not least, a little bubbly is a must for the wedding day. Accommodate your young couple within legal means. A special sparkling wine request can be arranged, perhaps. And a chilled bucket is a simple addition to the limos so guests can celebrate in style.
Happily Ever After
If you ask the right questions, there will be more than one long-term relationship created with each wedding. Offering the extras make the difference in customer commitment. As you fulfill wedding-day dreams of new couples, it creates trust that will mean referrals and repeat customers for other events and transportation needs.
As with any large group, get all the details. First, take down names. Things go wrong on wedding days — it rains, Grandma is delayed, someone is late. Know the wedding coordinator, and if there isn’t one, ask for someone outside the immediate family who can act on behalf of the bride. Without a doubt, it will be better to have a bossy aunt ask the minister to delay for 10 minutes due to a traffic jam — keep the immediate family out of those types of logistics changes.
Of course, for weddings, a single contact person may not be enough because people are in different locations. A coach for guests may only need the numbers, but these need to be accurate — so call each ahead of the wedding weekend, and confirm they’re comfortable being your contact. If the invitations have not gone out yet, ask if the couple can provide a finalized list of RSVPs to ensure you have enough seats.
For the wedding party shuttles or specific family vehicles, the respective chauffeur needs to know exactly who is supposed to be in his or her vehicle. If someone on a wedding party or smaller vehicle is left behind, the only one who will be blamed (and not paid) is you, the operator. Do not let this happen. Ever. It’s too emotional a day for your client for you to be unprepared. You never want to bring out the Bridezilla.
Tim Rose brings his expertise to next year’s highly anticipated event.
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