Wedding photographers are becoming such an integral part of wedding days. While your job as wedding photographer may not be "wedding coordinator," it is your job to educate your clients on how to get the best pictures. Often times, that involves offering advice on how ceremony times affect sunset portraits, how to dress for engagement sessions, and teaching your brides to look for good light in bridal suites when venue shopping. I do this by sending all of my new clients a welcome kit with a bridal guide loaded with information and some gifts and goodies.
These are all important in how your photos will turn out, so in a roundabout way, you are helping them plan their wedding. After all, pictures will be the only thing left of their wedding day, so the pictures should be as best as they can be, and you can help with that! So, once wedding photographers realized they could teach their brides things about photography (to make their jobs easier), they started piling up the goodies into a package and gifting their clients with this!
And so was born the Welcome Kit. Yes, it's capitalized because it's that important. I have been developing my own version of this kit forever. It has been a lot of trial and error, asking for feedback, and hours upon hours of scouring the web for ideas. I have been working on how to get the best value of the products I include, what is most cost-effective for shipping, and of course, my bridal guide!
Once a couple books with me, I try to get one of these in the mail within one month, so the excitement from booking is extended. This keeps me in the forefront of their minds, and gets me bonus points because I don't tell them I'm doing this. By keeping this a "surprise" to my clients, it allows me to really establish a friendship with them. After all, that is my goal; I want to be their friend, not just another vendor. I want them to know they can trust me and what I ask of them. I want them to know that they are so appreciated and valued, and not because they are a paying client. They are the very reason I have my job. I couldn't do this without them, and I want to thank them for that.
WHAT'S IN MY WEDDING CLIENT WELCOME KIT
1. Cardboard box. I ordered 12x10x4 kraft boxes off of Amazon because they were cost effective and big enough to fit all of my contents.
2. White crinkled paper. I usually pick these up from a craft store as needed. I've previously tried to order in bulk, but found that I never went through it fast enough and it was dusty and dirty to store! and then fill with the contents.
3. Coffee sugar scrub. After an extensive Facebook poll, I found that girls were really excited about the coffee scrub, and most people like the smell of coffee. The idea behind this was to encourage the bride to relax and pamper herself. After all, wedding planning is a full-time job! I ordered through SweetSallysSoaps on Etsy.
4. Wallet bottle opener. After yet another Facebook poll, I found that the most cost-effective product that appealed to the most amount of men was a wallet sized bottle opener with a custom message. I went with "Cheers, you're getting married!" I wanted to make sure my grooms felt important and included in this, because so much of wedding planning is about the bride. If I can get the groom to go "hey, this is cool!" and get excited about working with me, I'm already ahead. I order through KMDEXTERITY on Etsy.
5. Bridal guide. I design these on my own (secretly, my guilty pleasure) in Adobe InDesign, and then have them printed through Blurb. I've been very happy with the quality and my clients absolutely love the information in the guide! I can't reveal all of the content in this, but you can check out the pictures below for a good sneak peak.
6. Handwritten 'thank you' note. Just like momma taught you, these will never go out of style and they will always be appreciated. I tell my clients how excited I am to be working with them and mention something personal that I learned about them.
7. Bride + groom cookies. These are a must-have, because are you even getting married if someone doesn't send you heart-shaped cookies, iced like a bride and groom? Adorable! I always try to order these locally or order through someone on Etsy to support small businesses. These cookies were graciously provided by Adrienne at Rayning Sweet Treats in Columbus.
Once everything is in the box, it gets taped up and dropped up at the nearest post office (Pakmail is who I use). They label and ship for me! I also try to mail in bulk (try the first of every month and group all of the bookings from the previous month together). That way, you consolidate your trips and save time and sometimes money. I order all of my non-perishable gifts earlier in the season, so they are here and ready to go. The only thing I order in small batches is the cookies (to keep them fresh) and my bridal guides (in case the information changes).