All Posts in Wedding Business

May 25, 2020 - 9 comments

5 Best Apps For Wedding Pros

When it comes to running any business, a good rule of thumb is “Work smarter, not harder”. Over the years we have tried (what feels like) all the things. Some of them worked great, while others didn’t. However, we have now found and rounded up the Best Apps for Wedding Pros to help you run your business!

It’s essential to figure out what systems you need to streamline & make more efficient so you can focus on what’s really important: Bringing in more business! So, we have compiled a list of the systems my team uses everyday to propel our business forward .

Laptop and desk photo for best apps to use in your wedding business

Disclosure: Some of these links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you I may earn a commission if you click through and sign up or make a purchase. Thank you for the support!

1. Front Email Management

If you have a team, Front is an amazing tool. Our favorite features include: The comment section on emails for team members fo updates, assigning emails to team members, email tags, and if you are an “inbox zero” person- this is also amazing because your emails can be tagged & archived and they disappear from your inbox (but aren’t deleted!) 

2. Asana

 We use Asana for back end tasks regarding everything from client management, blog post schedules, and random to do’s that pop up. Each member of our team has a “To Do” list that we can all add to when needed. It’s a great system to keep on top of small tasks that can often be forgotten or fall to the wayside.

3. Slack

We use Slack for all of our team communication. We have a team thread that we use most for overall updates, but we also have more detailed threads relating to certain projects. Slack is great because you can set your own boundaries on when you want to receive notifications & for keeping work chats all in one place. 

Cozy bed with coffee and laptop

4. Tailwind App

If you aren’t planning your Pinterest pins yet.. DO IT NOW. Not only does it save a ton of time, but it gives you time to really think about what your keywords will be & makes sure that the content you are putting out there is worthwhile. We plan out our blog posts and Pinterest pretty far in advance to make sure our content is consistent & valuable. We love using Tailwind to help us plan out our Pinterest content. They have a direct partnership with Pinterest so it's the only app I trust for it! Need a little help with your Pinterest? Check our our free Pinterest mini class HERE

5. Canva

We use Canva for everything from creating Instagram stories, Pinterest posts, YouTube thumbnails, and even our client mood boards. Canva is a great way to integrate your brand and create consistent marketing for all visual aspects that you use. You can use the free version or upgrade to access more images and cooler fonts.

 

We use a lot more than just these 5, but these are some of our favorites and the most versatile for anyone one that runs a business. We would love to hear if you use any of these or if you have other systems that work great for you! 

Want more business tips? Read How Hiring A Virtual Assistant Changed my Business next!

March 25, 2020 - 8 comments

10 Ways to Stay Sane During COVID-19

Undoubtedly, things are a little crazy right now. Things are shutting down, people are scared, weddings are being postponed and we should all be stuck at home for a while until things calm down. To help you from getting stir crazy- we are here with a 10 helpful tips if you are staying home for a while!

1. Find an online workout

Whether it be yoga, interval training or a meditation service, try and move your body everyday! Headspace is offering a few meditations for free right now and for those of you who like OrangeTheory, they are doing daily workout videos as well.

reusable water bottle and exercise bands

2. Learn something new

Watch some video or support your Etsy makers by buying kits to learn how to knit, embroider, or cross stitch. Someone recently said they were taking free classes via BritandCo while others are live streaming their own cooking classes, how cool! You might also want to check out our YouTube channel for some wedding tips + how tos.

3. Read a feel-good book

book by the windowsil with glasses and cup of coffee

Nothing like taking some time to escape reality by diving into a good book. These are a few of our faves that will lift your spirits: Olive Again, Joyful, A Man Called Ove. The Little Book Of Hygge.  

4. Tackle house projects

Take advantage of this time at home to get through all those projects that you have been putting off. Like organizing that hall closet, cleaning out the fridge, or bagging up those clothes you never wear & donating them when the time comes. recently I found a couple fund YouTube families that motivate me to clean and organize. Check our The Beastons and Brianna K

5. Print your photos

Get those photos off of your phone and order prints through Mpix or make your own photo album. We all have a few professional galleries (weddings, family photos, birthdays) that are still living exclusively online so why not take the time to print and frame some of these milestones.

6. Journal every day

notebook with coffee cup

These are great gratitude journals that can help remind you of everything to be grateful for. This is an activity a lot of us wished we had more time for. Well folks, here's your chance!

7. Write some letters to your loved ones

This is the perfect time to send out some snail mail to all your friends & family. No matter the age, everyone likes to receive a real letter in the mail. Not one for words? Send a drawing, sketch or creative watercolor painting to brighten someone's day.

8. Do a puzzle or play a board game

When's the last time you played a good card game or did a 1000+ puzzle?! In our house, we sit down every night after dinner and break out a new game. We've also downloaded a few fun video games that have helped us escape reality. No shame in that!

9. Head over to SkillShare and learn something new

SkillShare has classes for everything from learning watercolor, how to make the perfect cup of coffee, creating flower arrangements, and tons of other things. If everyone took the time to learn a new skill every day, we'll all come out of this quarantine multi-talented!

10. Support your local small businesses

Buy gift cards, order online, curbside pickup, leave reviews, share their posts, and do whatever you can to help out small businesses that are being forced to change up the way they do business. Every little bit helps.

Still feeling stressed? We have good days and bad. Come find us on Instagram and let's chat about it and keep each other company.

Photos by Chelsea Dobs

March 5, 2020 - 7 comments

How Hiring a Virtual Assistant Changed My Wedding Business

Last year we took the leap to finally hire a Virtual Assistant for the CWCE team. We’ve had assistants in the past- but never one dedicated to working on all the behind the scenes and making sure things were running smoothly from an admin position. I always get tons of questions about hiring a VA, what it’s like, and how I found her; so we decided to dedicate an entire blog post to it!

girl typing on white laptop with notebook

 

Why did you hire a VA?:

I hired a Virtual Assistant because I was noticing that I was spending too much time working IN my business rather than ON my business. My role as a CEO is to push the business forward and think of ways to keep it growing. I need to focus on marketing strategies, getting new business, keeping the brand fresh and outsourcing certain tasks when needed. This is where my VA came in!

Where did you find your VA?:

I found my VA, Chelsea (who is an amazing photographer BTW) through this company called Rock Solid Assistants. What I loved about this company is that they specialize in wedding professionals, meaning that I didn’t have to train my VA on understanding wedding lingo. They took me through a thorough application process to get to know my business but also my personality. Then I was matched with my virtual assistant and we did a video call to get to know each other. During the first 10 weeks, I got a ton of support from the Rock Solid Assistants team and great advice on how to schedule our meetings, explain what needs to be done and general communication.

Hiring a virtual assistant for your wedding business is the best way to get more clients and make more money

What Does your VA do for you & your business?: 

Chelsea does everything under the sun! More specifically she supports me directly and helps schedule all my calls and meetings (which was a HUGE time suck when I was doing this myself). She has access to my inbox and can sort through my emails before I even wake up to make sure I only focus on the ones that are important. Because I’m a Destination Wedding Planner, Chelsea schedules travel for me and really manages my whole schedule. She does client research for me and the rest of the team when we are extra busy and even works on blog submissions which is a huge help!

What has been the most beneficial part of hiring a VA?:

Not only do I have more free time to enjoy with my friends and family but my time is also put to better use. I don’t have to spend hours working on scheduling, instead I can focus on higher level tasks that will move the company forward. We've also developed a great friendship and even though I have never met her in person, I trust her with so many aspects of my life.
Hiring a virtual assistant for your wedding business is the best way to get more clients and make more money

What has been the hardest part of having a VA?: 

Like any new employee there’s a learning curve. The hardest part for me was getting all of my processes that are normally just in my brain onto paper or capture it in a video. We don’t realize how many little processes we have in our business. From onboarding new clients to sending emails, it’s important to record them so that your whole team can follow the same processes and save time!

What advice do you have for people thinking about hiring a VA?:

Rip the bandaid and do it! I remember being worried about having to commit to paying someone every month but, let me tell you, it’s been well worth it. Not only that but you can do as little as 5 hours per week which is what I started with and increased from there. It also made me want to work hard in my business because I knew I had to pay someone else other than myself every month.

There you have it! Do you have any other questions about making the move to adding a Virtual Assistant to your team? Or maybe you want to know what it’s like being a VA? Let us know! Feel free to reach out to Rock Solid Assistants directly as well and mention that the Gabby from 'Cause We Can Events sent you.

February 27, 2020 - Comments Off on Hotel Figueroa: A modern boutique hotel and wedding venue

Hotel Figueroa: A modern boutique hotel and wedding venue

Part of our job (and trust me it's a fun part) is that we get to visit wedding and event venues all over Los Angeles and beyond to see if they might be a good fit for our clients. Sometimes they are venues that we know about but have never been in person and sometimes it's an old venue that got a new facelift. This time, Jessica, Kari and I headed downtown Los Angeles to check out the trendy and newly restored, Hotel Figueroa.

Boutique Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles, Hotel Figueroa is the perfect wedding venue for the modern bride or corporate event space for trendy companies

 

The Rooms

First we got a tour of the rooms and suites. We love checking these out because we can see where our couples will be getting ready and how the lighting and space will look for our photographers. Good news, every single room and suite looked photo-ready!

Bedroom Suite with leather headboard. Boutique Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles, Hotel Figueroa is the perfect wedding venue for the modern bride or corporate event space for trendy companies

Boutique Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles, Hotel Figueroa is the perfect wedding venue for the modern bride or corporate event space for trendy companies

The event spaces

Next, we headed into the main area of the hotel to check out their cool event spaces. With over 10,000 sq. feet of event space Hotel Figueroa can offer an intimate and outdoor gathering on the Terrazza (for up to 140 guests) or something more elaborate in the Gran Sala complete with Spanish Colonial Architecture right down to the limestone fireplace.

Hotel figueroa ballroom. Spanish modern wedding venue in downtown Los Angeles

Hotel Figueroa Ballroom. Wedding venue in Downtown Los Angeles for the modern and bohemian bride

Even beyond events themselves Hotel Figueroa is welcoming to all its guests. With many lounges scattered across the property it’s a perfect place to relax and mingle with old friends and new. P.S their cocktails are INCREDIBLE.

Modern lounge at Hotel Figueroa - boutique hotel in Downtown Los Angeles for weddings and events

Cool lounge at Hotel Figueroa - boutique hotel in Downtown Los Angeles for weddings and events

The food + drinks

As beautiful as this place is the facility is only part of the story. On our tour we got treated to lunch and ordered delicious dishes from their in-house restaurant, Breva. We sat outside in their tropical-modern-moroccan patio overlooking the pool. This space is available to rent as well!

Hotel Figueroa outdoor pool and bar. Wedding venue in Downtown Los Angeles for the modern and bohemian bride

Flatbread pizza at Hotel Figueroa

 

After lunch, we ended the tour in their separate beach bungalow! This is typically open as a restaurant and bar but clients can do a full buyout and even use this space as the wedding after-party. I think this was my favorite space, look how colorful the design is.

Pool at Hotel Figueroa downtown Los Angeles

greenery archway at Figueroa Hotel

Cause We Can Events team at Hotel Figueroa - destination adventurous wedding planners

Want more details about the Hotel Figueroa for your wedding or event? Email us! hello@causewecanevents.com

Photos by Kari Dirksen

January 10, 2020 - 6 comments

Wedding Coordinator vs Venue Coordinator, what’s the difference?

Picture this: You’re in the beginning stages of wedding planning and the venue you’d like to book comes with a venue coordinator- ‘That’s amazing!’ you say to yourself. You think this is a great addition because they will be there to help with your every need! 

But do they really? 

If you aren’t familiar with the wedding industry you might not realize the key differences between a wedding planner and a venue coordinator, so let’s dig a little deeper!

Sweetheart table with moody florals and black candlesticks. Green garland with peach flowers for wedding in Los Olivos.

Venue Coordinator: 

A venue coordinator is hired BY the venue FOR the venue. These are typical duties of a venue coordinator: 

  1. Venue space: They are there day of to make sure things are clean, if provided; they will set up tables & chairs, they make sure there is adequate staffing, and make sure things are clean and tidy.
  2. Timeline: They are there to make sure the meals are out on time, cleaned up, and sometimes will make sure dessert is served. They often leave after the meal or dessert is served.
  3. Vendors: Often venues have a preferred vendor list that they will give you. That is the extent of their involvement with outside vendors.
  4. Design: They are there to make sure the venue itself looks its best. They don’t typically ask what your vision is or provide any type of services to help make sure the spaces are unique to you and fit the vibe you are going for.

Bride and groom dance on white dance floor with string lights and moody florals with black candlesticks. Wedding by Cause We Can Events in Los Olivos

Wedding Coordinator: 

A wedding coordinator is hired by YOU for YOU. They are there every step of the way- but for comparison's sake- let's just stick with day of responsibilities.

  1. Timeline: Your planner will make sure things are running on time from getting ready to last call. They are there start to finish to make sure things run smoothly and you can enjoy every second of your big day. They will line you up for the ceremony, que the DJ for the first dance, make sure that speeches start on time, and they will ultimately be there until your last guest goes home.
  2. Vendors: Your planner has helped you handpick every vendor to make sure they are the perfect fit for your day. Planners often have close relationships with wedding vendors and you can feel at ease knowing they were chosen with your best interest in mind. Planners will also be in contact with them on the day of to make sure things are on time, correct, and to ensure everything goes off without a hitch or without bothering you.
  3. Design: When you hire a planner you are hiring someone that wants to make sure you get the wedding of your dreams. They can help with everything from invitation design, floral design, decor, lighting, table settings, ceremony layout, and everything in between. They spend hours day-of setting up to make sure it’s exactly what you envisioned.

As you can see there are major differences between the two- but the biggest takeaway is that unlike a venue coordinator, a wedding planner is there to keep your best interests a top priority and to make sure you are getting the day that you always dreamed of. They listen to your vision and make it a reality. 

Photographer Pretty Branch Photo

December 27, 2019 - 5 comments

The TRUTH behind Destination Weddings

I've been torn about sharing this because, well, most of you who follow me might think I have the most fun and glamorous job ever: Destination Wedding Planner. I'm not saying it's not true at times but holy smokes, there's a lot more to it than airport lounges and wine tastings.

Intimate ceremony on the cliffside in Croatia at private AirBnB. Dusty blue bridesmaids dresses and deep v-neck bridal gown. Groom in white tux.

The destination wedding trend

More and more couples are looking for nature-inspired places where no other couple has been before in order to have a unique and experiential wedding day. I don't blame them. Who wants to share the same wedding venue as their best friend? No one. This is also true for wedding vendors. They are excited to work if new cities, remote areas and places they have never photographed before and can now add to their portfolio.

Over the last few years, I've seen wedding professionals of all sorts change their Instagram bio to stuff like "will travel for free", "always up for a destination adventure", "based in LA but will travel anywhere". Hey, I 100% did that too but boy do I wish I knew a little more about what that actually meant.

Pricing yourself correctly

Pricing will forever be a hot topic in the wedding industry. As solopreneurs and small businesses, we constantly struggle with finding our perfect price point. For whatever reason, we also struggle with feeling guilty when we choose to charge more than the average vendor in our category. Here's the thing, if you're diving into the destination wedding world, not only should you be charging your standard rates but you should also be taking into considering the following expenses:

  • International Health Insurance
  • Car Rental fee + proper insurance ($250+ for one week)
  • Vaccines (I just got Hepatitis A&B and it was $100 for 1/3 shots)
  • Accommodations for more than just the 2 days around the wedding
  • Flights ($800+ for international)
  • Checked bag fees ($50-$100 per bag per flight)
  • Meals
  • International plug converters ($20-$50)
  • Sim card for your phone + international plan ($100+)

On top of these expenses, if you're choosing to fly all the way to Iceland for a wedding, you're probably going to want to spend more than 2 days there. While you can't have your client pay for your pre and post wedding activities, you may want to make sure you have enough money to do fun stuff while you're there!

So, with all of these expenses, offering a free service in exchange for your travel feels covered by the clients, might not be a very viable solution. Trust me, I tried it. Sure, you get to experience an amazing new country with some paid expenses but while you're out there you're still working hard and going home with a lot less money that you started with. From here on out, I charge a fee for my services + travel. It's not cheap!

Intimate wedding in Croatia on the rocky cliffside. Bridesmaids in dusty blue dresses. Bride with dried bouquet and the adriatic sea behind them

New cultures + laws

Something I was very naive about when I first started doing destination weddings was how different wedding planning became from one country to the next. Not only was the marriage license process a lot different but the way you actually contact wedding vendors is not always like we do here in the US and Canada.

I remember once reaching out to 3 florists over email for a wedding in Croatia and receiving a very rude message through WhatsApp from one of the florists saying something along the lines of "how dare you contact my florist friends, we all work together and if you reach out to me first I will work with you on this proposal but now I will not because you reached out to other people". Wow. So I guess we don't have get to choose between more than one florist?

On the other hand, we hired an officiant in Croatia who was so incredibly helpful when it came to sourcing vendors! I also reached out to a local wedding planner to get her option on a few venues. If she would have charged me a consulting fee, I would have 100% given it to her.

Groom helping bride down the rocky cliffs of Croatia after intimate wedding ceremony with 15 guests.

The perks

I sound like such a negative Nancy about destination weddings but I really just want to be real with you. It's not always as glamorous as it looks like on Instagram. Also keep in mind that travel time + jet lag are REAL and huge time sucks. It takes me weeks to recover from my destination weddings which means I can't book as many "full price local weddings".

That being said, having a job that allows you to travel the world is incredible. I try to take time on every trip to say a silent "thank you" to the universe for allowing me to do this. If the right opportunity arises, I will continue to take on destination weddings but will always crunch numbers before I agree. You have to make work for you lifestyle!

bride and groom at sunset in Croatia. Intimate wedding ceremony on the rock cliffs near Dubrovnik with only 15 guests. Destination wedding planner 'Cause We Can Events

Choosing your wedding vendors

Lastly, a quick word to all you fun couples who are scrolling through IG looking for their dream wedding vendors. Do try to find someone who is well traveled and has some experience with destination weddings, especially when it comes to your wedding planner. The reason I say this is because a lot of your vendors (both local and destination) will be asking your planner ALL SORTS of questions and he/she need to have enough knowledge to advise you properly.

 

So I hope this didn't scare you off from becoming a destination wedding vendor but I do hope it made you re-think a few things, including your pricing structure. You are SO worth the knowledge and expertise you bring to your clients' destination wedding. Charge your worth, friend!

Photos by Laura Goldenberger

December 14, 2019 - Comments Off on A Wedding Planner’s Secret Weapon

A Wedding Planner’s Secret Weapon

So you've been planning your clients' wedding for a whole entire year. You've double checked your rental orders, confirmed your vendor arrival times, checked everything off your decor list and are now officially ready for the big day...or so you think.

A missing officiant

The wedding day arrives and all is going well until the officiant (who is a friend) is MIA! Not just stuck in traffic but completely non-responsive to calls, emails or text. What do you do?!!!

ceremony set up in Joshua Tree with long wooden benches

Photo by Alexis Ralston Photography

Well, believe it or not, this has happened to me which is why I'm now writing a blog post about it. In my case, I was dealing with a destination wedding in Europe and a few days before the wedding the officiant (a professional this time) was not reachable.

My Secret Weapon

As a wedding planner, I decided to get "ordained" online through the Universal Life Church a few years into my career just in case. While it's a good back up plan for weddings happening in California, it's not really valid in Europe. That being said, when this "missing officiant" situation happened I thought if I could print out a sample Ceremony Script, the ceremony could still happen and we could deal with the legality of it later on!

Luckily for us, the officiant did resurface in time for the real ceremony (phew!) but I felt so much better with a Ceremony Script in my possession. My plan with it was to either have myself act as the officiant (not ideal) or ask a talented friend or family member to simply read it and follow the prompts.

I figured if I needed this in my wedding tool kit, surely other planners could benefit. So I decided to share this free sample Ceremony Script with you now!

Free ceremony script for wedding planners

While I hope you never have to use it, I hope this is helpful for you to have in your tool kit!

October 14, 2019 - 10 comments

Top Must-Have Wedding Planner Tool Kit Items

Like a Girl Scout, a wedding planner must always be prepared! We never know what kind of snafu we're going to encounter and we want to do our best to solve it. Over the years, my wedding tool kit has evolved and grown in size. After every wedding I like to reevaluate and see if there's anything I wish I had in my kit.

Today I'm sharing with you my TOP MUST-HAVES for every wedding planner tool kit. I swear I cannot do a wedding without these!

“This blog post contains affiliate links. If you click on one of them and make a purchase, I’ll receive a commission at no additional cost to you!"

wedding planning tool kit must haves. Wedding planner pinning boutonniere on groom with wedding planning apron

Photo by Lisa Marie Photographie

1. A multi-tool

buy this multi tool here

Every girl should have this handy dandy thing! Not only does it have scissors (which we always lose), it has a screw driver, knife, file and beer opener!

The best news? It can go in your carry-on (TSA approved) so you can bring it with you on destination weddings. I like to keep mine around my neck by putting it on a lanyard so I don't misplace it. Love this multi tool from Amazon!

2. Branded Aprons

This is my life. I had these custom made a while back and I've considered wearing it every day of my life just to keep me organized. I have velcro and zipper pockets to keep important thinks like the rings. I have places to put pens, scissors and chalk pens.

Most importantly I have a special pocket for my phone and my timeline! Ladies, do yourself a favor and have one made. Not sure how? Send me an email or comment on this post and I can hook it up!

Wedding planners with cute branded aprons. Wedding at Kimpton Canary Hotel in Santa Barbara

Photo by Amber McGaughey Photography

3. A rad analog watch

While I appreciate my smartwatch, when I'm out in the middle of the desert planning a wedding, I don't have time (no pun intended!) nor the electrical power to charge it every day. I've found that a beautiful analog watch like the one I just got from Jord is the BEST!

These watches are made from natural and re-claimed materials and have the most amazing details on them. I ended up getting the Cora Polaris in midnight blue because I really wanted a classic, timeless accessory that would pair well with all my wedding day outfits.

Want your own? Use code causewecan10 at checkout to get 10% off your purchase!

Jord Watch Cora Polaris in midnight blue. Top 5 must haves for your wedding kit! Wedding Planning tools and accessories that every event planner needs!
Jord Watch Cora Polaris in midnight blue. Top 5 must haves for your wedding kit! Wedding Planning tools and accessories that every event planner needs!

Photos by Lisa Marie Photographie

4. Reusable water bottle + salt packets

This might not be the most exciting thing to talk about but, you guys, this is essential! On a wedding day I can drinks gallons and gallons of water and still feel dehydrated the next day.

I decided to start adding these Salt Stick electrolytes because I remembered doing this for my horse at horse shows when it was really hot so it must work for humans, right?!

I had gotten a few packs of Salt Stick a while back and finally got around to popping a tablet before a wedding. MIRACLE WORKER. The "wedding hangover" didn't happen and I didn't get leg cramps like I used to. Really really helped me recover the next day.

Buy Salt Stick Chews for event planners here

5. Protein Bars

It is no secret that wedding days are BUSY! Often, I will find myself halfway through the day and forget to eat. Protein bars are easy on the go snacks for those moments. Also, if you are vegetarian or vegan it is always nice to have a backup plan just in case.

I love these mini-protein bars because they fit perfectly in my apron without taking up too much room! The all-natural bars provide the boost of energy needed to take on the rest of the wedding day.

6. Wireless earbuds

Ain't nobody got time for wires! I'm running with my apron full of tools and the last time I want to worry about are wired headphones.

Seriously. I recently tried a new brand called Sudio and so far, I'm digging it. They connect directly to my Android and I can be on the phone hands-free or listen to music while I work and not have to worry about pulling the cord out when I move around.

Sudio wireless earbuds are the perfect tool for event planners

Photos by Lauren Mihae

There you have it! My Top MUST-HAVES Tools for any event. Is there something you have in your kit that you can't live without? Comment below and tell me!

Want more items for your event planner tool kit? Check out my Amazon Shop with all the essentials for both wedding planners and couples!

August 19, 2019 - 10 comments

My Secret To Getting on Preferred Vendor Lists

If you're new to the wedding and event industry, you may have heard the words Preferred Vendor List floating around. It's basically the holy grail of client inquiries for wedding professionals. What I mean by that is that a Preferred List is something a venue or wedding planner has on hand that has all his/her favorite vendors. These lists are handed to potential clients during site tours and meetings and are an amazing and easy way to get more inquiries. But, getting on the list is hard.

Event Planner, Gabby Pinkerton of Cause We Can Events with branded mug and logo on wooden sign. Succulent garden with concrete walls for lifestyle shoot in Long Beach, CA

What NOT to do

Getting on the list is hard, you guys. Vendors work really hard to build these relationships and it takes time. That being said, I'll still share with you my little secret on how to get on that list but first, here's what NOT to do.

You never want to just send a generic cold email out asking to be on a list. Nope. Don't do it. It's so lame and so frustrating. Venues and wedding planners want to have a preferred list filled with vendors they trust, that offer high quality service or product and who they really vibe with. That last one is super important believe it or not. Vendors who are on preferred lists come back to that venue over and over again and if the personalities don't match, it makes for a really tough working relationship.

I'm not saying you CAN'T send an email but if you do, make is personal. Try to poke around and learn the names of the Events Team. Perhaps, take a look at the venue's Instagram account and see if there's something new happening that you can mention in your email. Ask genuine questions about them and their venue. Be a human, not a robot ok?

Getting on the List

It's not rocket science but here's my little secret to getting on preferred lists. I'm not saying it will always work BUT it will give you an advantage. Ready?

Schedule a Site Tour.

That's right. You heard me. Pick up your phone, call the venue and schedule an in-person tour. First of all, you can't get on a preferred list if you've never seen the place. This will allow you to get familiar and be able to educate your clients on offer professional recommendations whether it be for a good First Look photography spot or the best place to have place your speakers for the ultimate dance party.

Second, you get to face-to-face time with the venue manager and events team. This is where you can let your personality SHINE! Get to know the faces behind the venue, ask about them and why they love working there. Ask about who their favorite vendors are and why. Ask them what they wish vendors did or didn't do. Ask all the questions!

Now the third thing is a little bonus that REALLY sets you apart in my opinion.

Bring a photographer with you and blog about your tour. 

You guys, put yourself in a venue's shoes for a minute. You get a call from a DJ let's say who wants to come in for a site tour. She mentions that she would like to bring a photographer with her so that she can:

  1. Blog about the venue and then add these to Pinterest where the content will continue to be shared forever and ever and ever.
  2. Post on her social media accounts and therefore share with her community of potential clients as well as fellow wedding professionals.
  3. AND share these beautiful photos with the VENUE so that they can share on their website + social pages!

Who can say no to that?!! Of course, this requires teaming up with a photographer who agrees to do this at no charge to you but they also get to benefit but having their photos on so many platforms.

If you want to dive a little deeper, I made a video all about this topic! Take a look:
I hope this was helpful and I would LOVE for you to connect with us on Instagram or comment on this blog post and tell us if this worked for you. If you have any other helpful tips about How to get on preferred lists please be sure to share as well!

Photos by Lauren Mihae and Feathered Arrow // Venue Hotel Figueroa