I have run across a bunch of articles lately about Pinterest and the Pinterest bride. Ok, I can already hear the low rumble of the collective “Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr” from everyone in the bridal industry at the mere mention of the word. Pinterest, the social media site wedding professionals love, hate, fear and stalk.
I remember the same sound a decade or so ago about Martha Stewart Weddings. Ironically enough, for the very same reason: they build unrealistic expectations.
MSWeddings showed only the most amazing photo spreads: gravity defying cakes, flawless blooms that are in season for about a week, golden raspberries on the stem, and at times, shit she had picked from her own backyard. What they showed in the editorial photos were always one-offs that may be impossible to recreate and almost never on a real bride’s budget. That same dynamic along with the almost complete lack of pricing information on Pinterest is what has bridal vendors tearing their hair out.
A bride walks in with her Pinterest board of the most beautiful, over the top ideas, many taken from style shoots, not even real weddings and expects you to be able to perfectly recreate it on a $20,00 budget.
“Sorry hon but the tab for the flowers you want is gonna blow that budget all to hell”
We only wish that a bride with the budget to do it would walk through our door. We would all love to create magic at that level. Sadly, that isn’t reality. The question is, how do you navigate the Pinterest bride?
You ask questions and listen very carefully to the answers. Yep, it really is that simple.
I know, “Explain, please”
When a bride starts showing you her dream list, realize first off that that is exactly what it is, a dream list.
Go through it once over to get a sense of her style. As you see all her dreams together you will start to see patterns emerge.
Now start picking it apart, nicely.
“I love that bouquet too, what exactly is it that you like about it?”
“I like the color, the shape and those beautiful coral peonies”
Now you have the information you need to start redesigning the piece. Give her a ball park price for the bouquet in question. Once you pick her jaw up off the floor, start explaining HOW you can give her the color, shape and feel but keep it with in her budget by making a few substitutions. Show her some pictures of what you mean, because they can not picture it in their head like you can. The key is that you dug to find out what the essence of what she loved really was and can show her how she can actually have the things about it that she loved.
I used to do this all the time with cakes. “Ok, I have your vision. Now let’s see how we can make it work for you.
Bridal salons do it all the time. “I see what you love about that body style and the beading around the neck. Let me show you some similar things that you might like.” Knowing that they have several similar gowns that will fit her price point better and not send her off to the internet to buy a knock off from China.
If you hone your listening and probing skills, you can use Pinterest to your advantage.
- Don’t be afraid to tell them the price of what they have pictured.
- Don’t be afraid to show them the reality of the picture.
- Be ready with ideas and substitutions to give them what they love in a why that can really happen.
- Get your ideas out of your head in a visual way that the bride can see.
“Yes it is a tiny bouquet, but it is made up of 10 bunches of lily of the valley @ $X a bunch.”
“Yes I can get golden raspberries on the stem, they are $225 for 6 quarts imported from New Zealand. How many would you like?”
“Take a look at this pink garden rose, I think it will substitute nicely for the pink peonies that are out of season.”
“That particular fish doesn’t hold well for banquet service, suppose we use this with the same sauce for a better taste, texture and presentation?”
Learn to use Pinterest to your advantage. You are a creative and a problem solver or you wouldn’t be in this business. Go, create, solve; it’s what you do!
Check Think’s Facebook page for some of the article that sparked this.
*All of the above stories are absolutely true. The bride with the golden raspberries was standing right there when the produce broker called me back with the price. I thought she was going to faint. We substituted.