After the Wedding: Here’s What You Need to Do Next!
After months of preparation, the big day is finally here! You’ve supervised the set-up, sorted out a last-minute rental mix-up, handed out the flowers, wiped away a few tears at the ceremony, organized the wedding party for their photos, ushered the guests to the reception, wiped away a few more tears at the first dance… and now the happy couple is setting off for their honeymoon. Phew!
But even though the wedding is over, your job is definitely not. So what happens next?
The last guests are finally putting on their coats, but you’ll be sticking around a little while longer. As the wedding planner, it’s your job to take care of wedding gifts and any other personal property of your clients’ left at the venue. That means packing everything up carefully and making sure it’s headed to a place where it will be stored safely and securely.
Plan for this ahead of time. If you know it’s going to be a big, showy wedding with a lot to pack up afterwards, it’s a good idea to get someone to help you out. This could be an assistant, if you have one, or a few trusted volunteers arranged ahead of time by the bride and groom.
You should also make sure anything that’s been rented from vendors or borrowed from your clients’ friends or family is taken care of, even if the responsibility has been assigned to someone else. A gentle reminder can save your clients unnecessary expenses and hassles.
Once everything is packed up and tidied away, you can go home and take the rest of the night off. You’ve earned it!
The Week After
You may already be busy with new clients, but don’t let last week’s wedding fall to the wayside just because it’s over.
The first step is to thank your vendors. This is a must-do if you were particularly impressed with their work, or if your client was tough to deal with (it happens, right?). Even if their work was just standard, it’s still a good idea, because it helps you establish good relationships with your vendors. After a few weddings, you’ll end up with a solid list of companies who you know will do a good job, and who are happy to work with you.
There are a few ways to show your appreciation:
- Send an email
- Send a hand-written card or note
- Make a post on their social media profile so that your note is visible to their fans
A Few Weeks After
Take a few minutes to send your newlywed clients an email thanking them for working with you and asking if they’d care to share their thoughts on the experience. It’s always helpful to get feedback from past clients—their experience wasn’t the same as yours, so what they have to say can help you improve your client interactions and services in the future.
If they’re thrilled with your work, consider asking them to give you a good review to help promote your business. There are many different sites that house profiles and reviews for wedding and event planners, so it’s easy to send your clients a link and ask them to fill out a quick testimonial.
Just make sure you wait a little while to get in touch—you may have been instrumental to their wedding, but they probably don’t want to hear from you on their honeymoon!
A Few Months After
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to add a past wedding to your event planner portfolio. A few months after the wedding, you should be getting in touch with the photographer to ask for photos of the event. Typically, photographers are happy to share digital images with you, as long as you provide credit for their work.
As well as going towards your portfolio, think about putting these photos on your website or social media profiles. It’s good to update your online presence on a regular basis so that future clients know you’re a) still in business, and b) still doing amazing work.
If you do want to share these photos online, just check to make sure it’s okay with your clients before you post.
A Year After
Happy anniversary! To celebrate the one-year mark, send an email or card to your old clients to congratulate them. It’s always nice for your clients to know you’re thinking of them even after your work together is officially over, and it can help build an ongoing relationship. If they had a positive experience with you before, reaching out to them again can keep your name fresh in their minds and make them more likely to think of you for any future event-planning needs.
A wedding is a major event (and a major expense!) so there’s a good chance they won’t need your services again for at least a few years, unless they’re true socialites. But like tends to attract like, and your just-married clients may have just-engaged friends who are looking for recommendations for a good wedding planner. A quick congratulations can remind them to put your name on their list.
You should also consider creating a holiday card mailing list for your business. This is easier to maintain than sending anniversary cards to past clients every year because all your holiday cards will go out at the same time, but it’s still a nice touch.